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Eight Romanian military personnel die in plane, helicopter crashes

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The pilot of a Romanian military MiG 21 LanceR and the seven soldiers sent to find him on a search-and-rescue helicopter mission all died when their aircraft were involved in separate crashes late on Wednesday, the defence ministry said, according to Reuters.

The MiG was on an air patrol when it dropped off the radar in eastern Romania between the villages of Cogealac and Gura Dobrogei.

“The pilot of the IAR 330-Puma helicopter sent to find him had reported unfavourable weather and had been called back to base before it too crashed,” said the ministry.

Romania, a European Union and NATO member, plans to phase out its MiG planes and is flying F-16s.

No information linked the crashes to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, RFE/RL reports.

A commission of the General Staff of the Air Force and of the Military Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Constanta Military Court continues the investigation into the circumstances that led to the crash.