The Romanian Defense forces said eight military personnel died after their helicopter and fighter jet crashed on Wednesday, apparently due to bad weather in eastern Romania near the Black Sea.
According to the defense ministry, the IAR 330 Puma helicopter crashed on Wednesday in the area of Gura Dobrogei, seven miles from the airfield, killing all seven on board.
The seven soldiers were sent to search for the MiG-21 LanceR after the fighter jet lost contact and disappeared from the radar.
On Wednesday, the fighter jet was found with the body of its 31-year-old pilot near Cogealac, an uninhabited area near the Black Sea.
“It is premature to discuss possible causes. Certainly, there were unfavorable weather conditions, but we can’t comment now,” spokesperson General Constantin Spanu said on Wednesday.
The ministry said the All IAR 330 Puma and MiG LanceR aircraft would be grounded while under investigation.
On Thursday, military and religious commemoration ceremonies for the victims were held in all Romanian military units.
President Klaus Iohannis in a statement sent his “thoughts to the bereaved families” of the crash victims on what he called “a tragic night for Romanian aviation.”
© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.