The news of the crash emerged around noon and was soon confirmed by the Belgian Defence Department. The two pilots had taken off in Florennes (Namur) and were taking part in a training session when the aircraft suddenly had engine problems.
"At that moment, the jet was flying at a ground speed of 800 kilometres per hour at only 500 metres' altitude. The boys had to act fast, and tried to restart the engine, but this was of no avail", explains General Frederik Vansina. The F-16 jets are old - this one was about 40 years - but are being maintained well, the army underlines.
Then engine failed when the jet was flying at 500 metres' altitude. The pilots had to act fast
Both pilots used their ejection seat. One managed to land safely with his parachute while the other ended up in high-voltage cables between two electricity masts. The man could be liberated from his awkward position by firefighters and is said to be okay.
The jet also hit a house on the ground, damaging the roof. A number of local residents were evacuated. The aircraft did not come down in a densely populated area. It was completely gutted and destroyed.