RAF Lakenheath troops at scene of plane crash in Spain are OK, base confirms
RAF Lakenheath personnel at the scene of a fatal plane crash in Spain are OK, the 48th Fighter Wing Commander has said.
The USAF base has confirmed none of its personnel were injured in yesterday’s accident at the Los Llanos airbase, which killed at least ten people.
The incident involved a Greek F-16 jet fighter, which was taking part in a NATO training exercise at the base when it lost thrust during take-off and crashed, starting a fierce fire.
A post on the Facebook page of 48th Fighter Wing Commander Col Robert Novotny said: “We’re in close contact with our folks in Spain and everyone is OK.
“We had a few jets and several Liberty Airmen on the scene at the crash today in Spain. Our thoughts are with our NATO partners as they work this terrible accident.”
Around 19 more people are believed to have been injured in the incident, near the southeastern city of Albacete.
A spokesman at RAF Lakenheath said eight of its personnel had sought medical attention for minor injuries such as smoke inhalation, scrapes and burns following the crash.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he was ‘deeply saddened by the crash of a Greek fighter jet at the Los Llanos base in Spain, which has caused many casualties’, calling it ‘a tragedy which affects the whole NATO family’.
“While we’re thankful that our Liberty Airmen are safe following today’s tragic accident in Spain, our thoughts are with those who were lost, their loved ones and their comrades,” he said.
“I express my heartfelt condolences to the loved ones and the nations of those who lost their lives, and I wish a speedy recovery to the injured.”
There are around 80 personnel from the 48th Fighter Wing, along with three F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft from the 492nd Fighter Squadron, deployed to Los Llanos to provide support with NATO’s Tactical Leadship Programme.
Of the three F-15s, RAF Lakenheath’s spokesman said: “We can confirm that one aircraft is damaged and one is okay. The third aircraft is in such close proximity to the crash site that we haven’t been able to assess damage yet.”