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Pilot killed as US fighter jet crashes near RAF Lakenheath

A US fighter jet has crashed near RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, killing the pilot.

The FA-18 Hornet from the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 came down a couple of miles away from the base at around 10.30am.

Cambridgeshire Police confirmed that one person had been killed in the crash.

There are reports the plane encountered problems with refuelling shortly before the crash, but a spokeswoman for the US Marine Corps said she could not confirm this.

She told the Press Association: "We don't know at this time if the pilot ejected from the aircraft. It is a one-seater aircraft so no one else was in it."

The squadron is based in California.

A spokesman from the US Embassy in London said: "We can confirm that it was the pilot who died in the crash."

Emergency services were sent to the scene near the Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border.

A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: "Emergency services are currently at the scene of a plane crash on farmland in Redmere, Ely.

"The military aircraft which had taken off from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk came down at about 10.30am this morning.

"We can confirm one fatality and believe there was just one person on board the aircraft."

A Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said they were called just after 10.30am.

He said: "We were called following reports of an aircraft crash at Redmere.

"We have two crews at the scene at the moment but there is no sign of any firefighting action taking place."

Matthew Barzun, the US ambassador to Britain, tweeted: "Have received update on this news. Tracking situation closely. We're grateful for everyone's concern."

The crash comes just over a year after an American fighter based at Lakenheath crashed near a school in Lincolnshire.

The F-15 fighter jet from the US Air Force's (USAF) 48 Fighter Wing crashed in fields near Spalding on October 8 2014.

The pilot ejected safely, sustaining only minor injuries, and no one on the ground was hurt.

Mr Barzun added: "The loss in Cambridgeshire today is terrible news, my thoughts & prayers are with all involved."

The aircraft was part of fleet of six fighter jets travelling from Bahrain to the base in Miramar, California, a US air force official said.

The remaining five FA-18 Hornet's safely diverted to the RAF Lossiemouth airfield in Scotland.


From Belfast Telegraph