Yemen: Military Plane Crashes Into Building

At least nine civilians and a pilot have been killed after his Yemeni air force plane hit houses as it crashed in the capital.

Four men, three women and two children were among the dead in Sanaa, according to medical officials, and 18 other people were hurt.

The aircraft hit one building, then smashed into another before finally crashing on top of a third, witnesses said.

A security official said the pilot had ejected from the plane, while an interior ministry spokesman said the aircraft hit two houses during a training exercise.

Eyewitness and local resident Ahmed Fathi said he saw five burnt bodies taken away by an ambulance.

Mr Fathi also said two houses were completely destroyed in the crash and that people were still believed to be under the rubble.

Several cars were on fire and debris littered the street in the al Qadissiya district.

"It's terrible and painful," another resident Abdullah al Ashwal said. "The police and medics evacuated five completely burned bodies, they were all unrecognisable."

Mohammed al Sabri said: "I saw the plane drop and we were afraid it would crash on Sanaa University, but the pilot crashed on nearby buildings."

The plane, believed to be a Russian SU-22 fighter aircraft, came down close to the main city square that was the epicentre of Yemen's uprising and protests in the past two years.

Military experts are investigating and the cause of the crash is not yet known.

Yemen is believed to have 30 SU-22s and four SU-22UM3s in an air force with a total of 79 aircraft.

In November 2012, a Yemeni military transport plane crashed near Sanaa airport and burst into flames, killing all 10 people aboard.

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