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Indonesian Hawk jets crash

Staff and wires

SURABAYA, Indonesia -- Two Indonesian jet fighters crashed during rehearsals for an air show, killing all four pilots and co-pilots on board.

The British-made Hawk MK-53 jets, part of the country's top aerobatic display team, crashed near Iswahyudi airbase in East Java town of Madiun, Air Force spokesman Maj. Gen. Imam Wahyudi told The Associated Press.

Wahyudi said the two planes "experienced total loss" while in routine practice and crashed.

"The real cause of the accident is still not known," Wahyudi said before boarding a flight from the capital of Jakarta to the crash site. Investigators are trying to find the cause of the crash.

The Indonesian air force has three squadrons at the airbase. They also use U.S.-made F-16 Fighting Falcon jets in their aerobatic displays.

Witness Lia Artika said the two planes were flying in the same direction and crashed when they attempted to cross each other's paths.

"There was a big, sudden boom," she told The Associated Press.




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