YANGON, Myanmar (AFP) – A Myanmar pilot died on Tuesday after a “technical failure” caused his military jet fighter to plummet into a paddy field in the center of the country, the army said.
A live video on Facebook showed flames billowing up from the crash site near Kyunkone village about an hour away from the capital Naypyidaw.
Local people found the unconscious body of the pilot attached to his parachute nearby and tried to drag him away from the scattered debris for medical help.
The army chief’s office later confirmed on its Facebook page that the crash was due to a “technical failure” and that the pilot died of his injuries on the way to a military hospital in nearby Taungoo town.
“An investigation is ongoing,” the post added.
Police told AFP that the single-seater F-7 jet fighter went down around 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning while a military source said the pilot, Major Arkar Win, was in his mid-30s.
The F-7 is a Cold War era fighter jet – a Chinese made variant of the Soviet Union’s MiG-21.
Myanmar has seen a spate of aviation accidents in recent years, including a devastating military plane crash in June last year in which 122 people were killed.
Bad weather caused the Chinese-built Shaanxi Y8, which was carrying dozens of soldiers and more than 70 relatives of servicemen, including 15 children, to plummet into the Andaman Sea.
It took days for rescue workers to pull bodies and parts of the aircraft, including the black box, from the sea.