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U.S. jet drops bomb, kills 6 in Kuwait accident

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Six people died when a U.S. warplane accidentally bombed a group of observers during a training exercise Monday in Kuwait, the Pentagon said.

Five of the dead were U.S. citizens -- at least two of whom were U.S. Air Force personnel -- watching a training exercise involving U.S. and Kuwaiti troops. The sixth fatality was a member of the New Zealand military, also acting as an observer.

The Kuwaiti ministry of defense said seven other people on the bomb-testing range were wounded, including five Americans and two Kuwaitis.

The accident happened about 7:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. EST) during a joint Kuwaiti-U.S. air exercise near the Al Udairi firing range in a desert 31 miles south of Iraqi border, according to reports from Kuwait.


Parked vehicles used as guides for aircraft participating in the exercise were hit in the accident, the reports said. But in Washington, the Pentagon said it knew nothing of any vehicles being involved in the accident.

The Pentagon said all of those killed were observers on the bombing range at the time of the accident.

The 500-pound bomb was dropped from a U.S. Navy FA-18 Hornet flying from the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.

Speaking in Florida on Monday, President Bush said the accident was a reminder of the dangers faced by U.S. service members. He led a moment of silence before a speech promoting his tax-cut plan. "God bless," Bush said.

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  • Navy Fact File: F/A-18 Hornet Aircraft
  • USS Harry S. Truman
F/A-18 Hornet (from
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Exercise Intrinsic Action begins Exercise Intrinsic Action
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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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