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Fighter jet crashes in China air show

By Steven Jiang, CNN
updated 11:23 AM EDT, Fri October 14, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Rescuers are looking for a missing pilot, official says
  • The plane plunges in a nosedive and turns into a fireball
  • The ejected pilot's parachute failes to fully open
  • The air show goes on

Beijing (CNN) -- A fighter jet crashed Friday morning at an air show in northwest China, leaving one pilot injured and another missing, a local official said.

"Rescuers are still searching for the missing pilot," said He Liang, an official with the state-run China International General Aviation Convention, which organized the air show.

National broadcaster CCTV showed footage of a Chinese-made JH-7 plunging in a nosedive during a performance before turning into a fireball on a patch of grass.

The incident took place at an air show in Pucheng county in northwest Shaanxi Province.

The state-run Xinhua news agency quoted witnesses as saying they saw one pilot ejected from the plane, but his parachute failed to fully open due to the low altitude.

The ejected pilot was hospitalized, Xinhua said, adding that no one was hurt on the ground and the air show went on.

An investigation team has arrived at the scene.

The airfield is 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of the provincial capital of Xi'an, where JH-7s are assembled.

The model -- a twin-seat, twin-engine fighter-bomber developed by the Chinese -- joined the fleet of the People's Liberation Army in the mid-1990s.

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