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Seven dead in Romanian army chopper crash

A Romanian helicopter sent on a search-and-rescue mission after a military MiG 21 LanceR aircraft dropped off the radar has crashed, Bucharest’s defence ministry says, killing all seven soldiers on board.

The pilot of the IAR 330-Puma helicopter had reported unfavourable weather conditions and had been called back to base before Wednesday’s crash, the ministry said.

The helicopter fell near the village of Gura Dobrogei in the east of the country.

“I give my profound regret and full compassion for the loss of seven soldiers from the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base,” Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said.

The fate and location of the MiG plane and its pilot are still unknown.

Romania, a European Union and NATO member, plans to phase out its MiG planes and is flying F-16s.

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