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MiG-29 fighter jet crashes during Bulgarian-U.S. drill

(Xinhua)

09:12, April 27, 2012

Rescuers, policemen and fire fighters arrive at the accident scene where a MiG-29 fighter jet crashed between the villages of Tzarimir and Golyam Chardak, some 7 km northwest of the Graf Ignatievo Air Base, 150 km southeast of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, April 26, 2012. The MiG-29 fighter jet crashed Thursday near the Graf Ignatievo Air Base in Bulgaria during a Bulgarian-U.S drill, and the two pilots survived, local media reported. (Xinhua/bta)

SOFIA, April 26 (Xinhua) -- A MiG-29 fighter jet crashed Thursday near the Graf Ignatievo Air Base in Bulgaria during a Bulgarian-U.S drill, and the two pilots survived, local media reported.

According to Radio Focus, the MiG-29 crashed between the villages of Tzarimir and Golyam Chardak, some 7 km northwest of the Graf Ignatievo Air Base, 150 km southeast of the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

The fighter plane was engulfed in flames before the crash, the radio said, citing witnesses.

The two pilots ejected successfully, and have returned to the base.

Bulgaria has 16 Soviet-made MiG-29 fighters that make up the backbone of the country's current air defense.

The joint Bulgarian-American flight training, codenamed "Thracian Star 2012", began on April 17 and will end on May 11 at the Graf Ignatievo Air Base, one of the four military facilities, jointly used by the United States and Bulgaria.

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