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Taiwanese pilot in French Mirage crash

Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

A Taiwanese pilot has died in the crash of a French air force fighter plane. The Mirage 2000-5 went down in a ball of fire, according to eyewitnesses.

The pilot, who was training with the French air force at the Luxeuil-les-Bains airfield in the east of the country, seems to have done everything possible to avoid crashing into a residential area, according to the mayor of nearby Froideconche, Henri Passard.

Local people say they saw a “ball of fire” crash into a wooded area about 500 metres from a group of houses on Wednesday morning.

Access to the area was closed off while the authorities established whether their were armaments on board.

An inquiry has been opened to find out the reasons for the accident.