Belgian fighter jet pilot rescued from power line after crash in France

By Angela Charlton, Associated Press Reporter

A Belgian F-16 fighter jet has crashed in western France, damaging a house and setting a field ablaze.

The crash left a pilot suspended for two hours from a high-voltage electricity line after his parachute got caught.

Emergency workers extracted the pilot safely after cutting off power in the area, and he was been taken to a nearby hospital for medical checks, officials said.

No injuries have been reported. Surrounding homes were evacuated as the pilot was being taken down and firefighters battled the blaze from the crash.

One of the plane’s wings sliced the roof and facade of a house in the town of Pluvigner, in Brittany, before plunging into a neighbouring farm field, said Ludovic Kauffer, who lives in the house.

Mr Kauffer was at work at the time of the accident, but his parents were home and described to him the “booms” of the crash.

“My mother is in shock, my father is too,” he said. “The most important thing is that everyone is OK.”

The plane was travelling from Belgium to a naval air base in France when it came down between the towns of Pluvigner and Landaul.

Two pilots were aboard, and both ejected before the crash. One was safely rescued but the other got stuck on the power line.

The plane itself was not armed, officials said.