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USAF F-16 crashes in Korea on takeoff

May 29, 2003 (by Lieven Dewitte) - An American F-16 crashed last night during takeoff from the Osan Air Base, Kyonggi Province, the Ministry of National Defense said. The pilot managed to eject from the plane just before the crash and was sent to nearby hospital.

Remnants of the F-16 lay scattered around aircraft static displays of an F-86 Sabre and F-4 Phantom near the base entrance.

The extent of his injuries was not confirmed.

The plane crashed soon after taking off from the Osan Air Base, 30 miles southeast of Seoul, said spokeswoman Sgt. Norma Terry.

A statement from the military said a 58-year-old woman who worked on the base suffered bruises on her right arm "due to debris" from the crash but did not give details. She was treated and released from a base hospital.

The cause of the crash was under investigation. The pilot's name was not released.

In January, a U.S. Air Force's U-2 spy plane crashed in South Korea. The pilot also ejected to safety, but four Korean people on the ground were injured.

The United States keeps about 37,000 troops in South Korea, which shares the world's most heavily militarized border with North Korea.

Additional images:

US F-16 from 36th FS crashed on 28 May 2003 during takeoff from the Osan AB. [USAF photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Lloyd]