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Spain’s Air Force F-18 crashes outside Madrid, pilot killed

An F18 fighter jet has crashed on takeoff at a military base near Madrid, killing the pilot — the second time a military plane has come down in Spain in a week.

“The pilot of the airplane has died as a consequence of the accident, which happened during take-off,” on Tuesday, the Spanish Defense Ministry said in a tweet following the crash near the Torrejon de Ardoz base, around 20 kilometers from Madrid.

“Rescue teams are on their way to the scene of the accident,” a ministry spokesman told AFP, adding that the cause of the crash was unknown.

The accident came just days after the pilot of a Eurofighter jet was killed on the approach to landing at a military base at Albacete, 300 kilometers southeast of the capital.

The jet had been taking part in a military display for Spain’s national day.

Spanish Eurofighter planes fly during the Spanish National Day military parade in Madrid on October 12, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Two other Eurofighter jets crashed in Spain in 2010 and 2014, both times killing the pilot.

Spain’s national day marks the date that Christopher Columbus first arrived in the Americas in 1492.

It fell this year in the middle of Spain’s biggest political crisis in a decade as Catalonia’s separatist leader is threatening to split the region from the rest of the country.

A traditional military parade took place in Madrid, with fighter jets, military planes and helicopters making several flybys.

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