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The plane, an Air Force J-7, “had an accident during training and fell in the vicinity of an airport… causing damage to private homes”.

Beijing: 

One person has died and two more injured when a fighter jet crashed in central China on Thursday, state media reported.

The plane, an Air Force J-7, “had an accident during training and fell in the vicinity of an airport… causing damage to private homes”, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

The pilot parachuted to safety and has been transferred to hospital along with the other injured, CCTV said.

The cause of the crash in Xiangyang, a city in Hubei province, is being investigated, CCTV said.

Footage of the crash site posted online by the Xinhua news agency showed flames sending black smoke billowing into the air from a street in Xiangyang.

Several buildings appeared to have been completely flattened in the accident.

Two pilots died when a navy plane crashed in 2019 in the island province of Hainan.

In March this year, a civil aircraft crashed in the southern province of Guangxi, killing 132 people in China’s worst air disaster in decades.

The China Eastern flight MU5375 was travelling from the cities of Kunming to Guangzhou when it inexplicably plummeted from an altitude of 29,000 feet into a mountainside.

China’s civil aviation authority did not immediately find any reason for the incident, and have said an investigation is ongoing.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that US investigators believe someone on board crashed the American-made Boeing 737-800 deliberately, citing a person familiar with a preliminary assessment of the incident.

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