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Eurofighter pilot killed returning from bank holiday air display
A EUROFIGHTER pilot taking part in an air show has died after his plane crashed when he returned to base.
The Air Force's Ala-14, one of four single-seaters from the air base in Los Llanos (Albacete province) had been part of a display for the bank holiday parades in honour of what used to be called Hispanic Day to mark the anniversary of Columbus' discovery of the Americas and what is now known as Spain National Day.
The as-yet unnamed pilot, along with the other three, was just metres from the air base when his craft nose-dived to the ground and burst into flames.
Ministry of defence sources say the pilot was unable to get out of the craft in time.
It landed near the La Pulgosa public park which is heavily-frequented on bank holidays and when the weather is pleasant, but nobody else was hurt – although dozens of bystanders witnessed the crash and the massive clouds of black smoke.
The crash, during the pilot's landing manoeuvre, was at exactly 12.09 this afternoon and his death was confirmed by the defence ministry at 13.35.
By then, the ceremony programmed for 13.00 in Albacete's Plaza Virgen de los Llanos had been called off.
Spanish president Mariano Rajoy and defence minister María Dolores de Cospedal, on hearing the news, immediately abandoned the official October 12 parades in Madrid and are on their way to Albacete.
Government officials at regional, local, national and provincial level, and members of the Spanish government's opposition, have published messages of condolences on Twitter.
Photograph: @marioruiz_ab on Twitter
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