A fighter plane of the Belgian army crashed on Thursday morning in western France leaving one of the pilots hanging on a high-voltage electricity line.
Le Telegramme reports that both the F-16 pilot and co-pilot ejected before the crash and are understood to be alive.
Fire crews managed to successfully disentangle him from the wires “safe and sound” just before 1pm.
The incident took place near the town of Pluvigner, Britanny, around 10:30 am local time, according to local media.
Pictures from the scene show how the crash created a large fireball that sent plumes of thick black smoke into the air.
The town has been evacuated but no injuries have been reported amongst residents of the local area.
Witnesses said they heard a loud explosion before the stricken aircraft plunged from the sky.
Local Patrick Kauffer said:
“My wife was in the house and she heard a huge explosion, followed by a second, she went out into the garden and saw the plane on fire.”
“Yes, we can say it’s a miracle, the wing of the plane tore off some of the roof on the north side of our house, the damage is impressive: the trees and the shed were on fire when my wife was evacuated.”
The prefecture of Morbihan said in a statement:
“The F-16 pilot and his co-pilot were able to eject before the crash.
“Both of them have been located and are alive, one of them has already been taken care of by the emergency services deployed on site, the second is currently suspended on a high-voltage line by its parachute.
The plane had not been loaded with weaponry before embarking on its journey.
The network communication service RTE (network of electricity transmission), network manager explains that the high-voltage line on which the pilot of the aircraft remained hooked was quickly put off, in order to prevent the risk of an electrocution.