August 5, 2014 / 2:48 PM / 4 years ago

Croatian jet fighter crashes near Zagreb; pilot survives

ZAGREB, Aug 5 (Reuters) - A Croatian MIG-21 jet fighter crashed on Tuesday about 20 km (12 miles) south of the capital Zagreb, and the pilot ejected and has been taken to hospital for examination, the defence ministry said.

“According to initial information, the plane had a landing gear failure and caught fire,” the ministry said.

Croatia’s air force still flies ageing communist-era MIG-21s and has been considering the modernisation of the fleet, but budget constraints have held up such plans. The country has been a NATO member since 2009.

Some MIG-21s recently underwent an overhaul in Ukraine. The defence ministry said the crashed plane was not among them. (Reporting by Igor Ilic; editing by Andrew Roche)

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