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A Chinese navy fighter jet crashed on a Chinese island in the South China Sea, killing both pilots

Ryan Pickrell, 03/13/2019

There were reportedly no casualties on the ground.  

A Chinese fighter jet crashed in southern China on Tuesday, killing the two pilots on board, The Associated Press reported, citing the Chinese military's official news outlet.

The unspecified fighter jet went down in Ledong county, in Hainan, a Chinese island province in the South China Sea, the report said. The country has set up military outposts in the region to enforce its sovereignty claims in the contested waterway.

There were reportedly no casualties on the ground.

Plane crashes are not uncommon for the US military, which has seen a high number of incidents in recent years, or the Chinese military.

Last year, at least a dozen crew members of a People's Liberation Army aircraft were killed when the plane, either a refueling aircraft or an electronic-reconnaissance aircraft, crashed in Guizhou, a province in southwestern China, the South China Morning Post reported.

In 2016, Yu Xu, one of China's first female fighter pilots, was killed in a training accident, and a Chinese navy fighter jet crashed into a factory in Taizhou, a city in eastern China.

Over the years, Chinese military aircraft have also crashed in residential areas, injuring civilians.

Multiple crashes, some fatal, have involved the J-15, a derivative of a Soviet prototype that serves as China's only carrier-based fighter.

Tuesday's plane crash is under investigation, the AP report said.

 
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