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South Korean air force planes collide, four dead

South Korean air force planes collide, four dead
Two South Korean Air Force KT-1 trainers, similar to the aircraft pictured, collided in mid-air and crashed Friday, killing four. File Photo courtesy of Korea Aerospace Industries

SEOUL, April 1 (UPI) -- A pair of Air Force KT-1 trainer jets collided in midair and crashed in southeastern South Korea Friday afternoon, killing four, officials said.

The crash took place around four miles from the air training base in the city of Sacheon, located about 185 miles south of Seoul, the Air Force said in a statement. The planes collided just minutes after taking off.

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Two student pilots and two flight teachers died in the crash, the Air Force said. There were no civilian casualties, it added.

The Air Force is investigating the cause of the accident and assessing whether any property in the vicinity was damaged.

The single-engine turboprop KT-1 basic trainer is South Korea's first aircraft developed completely with home-grown technology. It was introduced in 2000 by the private Korea Aerospace Industries and state-affiliated Agency for Defense Development and has been exported to countries including Indonesia, Turkey, Peru and Senegal.

Friday's incident follows the January crash of an F-5E fighter jet into a mountain in Hwasong that left one Air Force pilot dead.

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