Human remains at site of French jet fighter crash

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Crash investigators have found human remains at the site where a French air force Mirage 2000 fighter plunged into the central French countryside with two crew, officials said Wednesday.

Public prosecutor Olivier Querard told AFP that DNA tests would be carried out to confirm whether the remains belonged to the warplane's crew, described as two experienced 30-year-old pilots.

The military said earlier that the plane dropped off radar 9.20pm local time (2020 GMT) on Tuesday, triggering a large-scale search and rescue effort.

The wreck of the jet was found on Wednesday in the Creuse region of central France, the regional state prefect Claude Serra told AFP.

He said the jet hit the ground near a small lake so hard that it created a massive crater that quickly filled with water, complicating the search.

The armed forces said that a helicopter had been dispatched to the scene.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the crash, but an air force spokesman said that the jet had been conducting an extremely low level training flight at night in dense fog.

The Mirage 2000 is a multi-role jet fighter and mainstay of the French air force, which has more than 300 deployed and is one of nine countries to use it. It first flew in the late 1970s and entered service in 1982.

© 2011 AFP

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