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2 killed in collision of U.S. Air Force F-16 jet, civilian plane

Updated: 07 08 , 2015 10:54
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WASHINGTON -- Two people were killed after an F-16 fighter jet of the U.S. Air Force collided with a civilian plane in the state of South Carolina Tuesday morning.

The two people were aboard the civilian plane, a Cessna C-150 model, which was destroyed after the collision, and the two people aboard were killed after the crash, according to U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) spokesman Peter Knudson.

The accident took place at around 11 a.m. 18 kilometers north of Charleston in South Carolina. And U.S. Defense Department officials have confirmed that the pilot of the F-16 fighter jet, which came from Shaw Air Force Base, 160 kilometers northwest of Charleston, ejected safely after the accident.

The pilot of the F-16 fighter jet has been rescued following the accident, according to local rescue officials, who added that witnesses reported the F-16 hit the Cessna "broadside."

A team of investigators from the U.S. Air Force and a NTSB investigator will convene to determine the cause of the accident.

Meanwhile, the Berkeley County Rescue Squad said that the fuselage of the Cessna has been located and debris is scattered across a rice field. It issued an advisory saying that anyone who finds debris from the crash should call 911 immediately to report it so the debris can be collected.

The F-16 was designed in 1970 for the U.S. Air Force as an alternative to fighter aircraft that had grown increasingly heavy and unmaneuverable. Since 1975, more than 4,500 F-16s have been produced for 26 nations across the world.