U.S. F-16 fighter based in Italy may have crashed in Adriatic

ROME Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:53am IST

Related Topics

ROME (Reuters) - A U.S. F-16 fighter jet was feared to have crashed on Monday during a training exercise over the Adriatic Sea, and the U.S. Air Force said the status of its Italy-based pilot was unknown.

Search efforts by the U.S. Air Force and the Italian Coast Guard are under way in poor weather conditions with limited visibility. A fuel slick had been sighted at sea, ANSA news agency reported.

The U.S. Air Force said only that it "lost contact" with the F-16 at about 8 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) - language often used to describe a possible crash, although Air Force officials declined to speculate about the incident.

"The aircraft was performing a training mission over the Adriatic Sea with one person on board. The pilot's condition is unknown at this time," the U.S. Air Force said in a statement.

An Italian Coast Guard spokesman told Reuters that the search-and-rescue effort was being hampered by a mixture of rain and snow in the area.

"The search continues despite the darkness and the bad weather," he said.

He could not confirm the ANSA report that a fuel slick on the water had been spotted.

A helicopter, four Italian Coast Guard cutters and four commercial vessels were combing the waters 10 miles (16 km) from Cervia, on the northern Adriatic coast. Coast Guard divers have also been readied for the morning, he said.

A spokeswoman at Aviano Air Base in northern Italy said more information would released when it became available.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer in Rome and Phil Stewart in Washington; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Eric Beech)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

Documentary Banned

Documentary Banned

Documentary on 2012 Delhi gang rape banned in India.  Full Article 

RBI Rate Cut

RBI Rate Cut

RBI surprises with post-budget rate cut.  Full Article 

Beef Ban

Beef Ban

After beef ban, Hindu groups force abattoirs to close   Full Article 

Insurance Reforms

Insurance Reforms

Opposition support bolsters prospects for insurance reforms.  Full Article 

Axed by Censors

Axed by Censors

India's censor blocks 'Fifty Shades of Grey' from cinemas.  Full Article 

Bollywood Focus

Bollywood Focus

Franchise Man swoops in to save Bollywood.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India expects better monsoon rains this year.  Full Article 

Reuters Interview

Reuters Interview

Budget lacks wow, but good enough: Jim O’Neill.  Full Article 

Slim Chances

Slim Chances

Dozens of miners missing, feared dead after blast in east Ukraine.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage