Report: Iranian fighter jet crashes near nuclear power plant, pilots eject safely

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Iranian fighter jet crashes near nuclear plant

TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian fighter jet crashed Tuesday in southern Iran near the country’s nuclear power plant that is to start up over the weekend, a semi-official news agency reported. The two pilots ejected safely.

The Fars agency quoted local government official Gholam Reza Keshtkar as saying one of Iranian airforce’s F-4 planes crashed about four miles (six kilometers) north of the city of Bushehr. The city is located 745 miles (1,200 kilometers) south of the capital, Tehran.

Keshtkar said the pilot and co-pilot ejected safely from the plane before it crashed but were rushed to the hospital in Bushehr. He didn’t provide other details.

Another local official, Mohammad Hasan Shanbadi, said technical failure was the cause of the crash but did not elaborate. He said the plane crashed in the desert, close to an industrial center.

The Bushehr nuclear power plant — Iran’s first such facility — is expected to start fueling up this weekend.

Iran purchased many U.S.-made planes, including scores of McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs before the 1979 Islamic Revolution and during the rule of the late pro-Western Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

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