Army helicopter, fighter jet crash in Romania, killing all crew

Eight military personnel have died after their helicopter and fighter jet crashed separately in bad weather in eastern Romania near the Black Sea

The European Union member is on the front line to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank as Russia wages its all-out war in neighbouring Ukraine

The IAR 330 Puma helicopter crashed on Wednesday in the area of Gura Dobrogei, 11km (seven miles) from the airfield

It was searching for the MiG-21 LanceR, shortly after the fighter jet – part of a formation of two MiG-21 LanceR planes performing air patrol missions 

Later on Wednesday, the fighter jet was also found, having crashed near Cogealac, an uninhabited area near the Black Sea, the defence ministry said. The 31-year-old pilot died, it said.

“It is premature to discuss possible causes. Certainly, there were unfavourable weather conditions, but we can’t comment now,” spokesman General Constantin Spanu said on local television on Wednesday.

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