LAST UPDATE 19:36
Five US soldiers were killed when a military aircraft crashed in the Mediterranean Sea during an exercise, the US military’s European Command (EUCOM) said today.
The plane carrying the five soldiers crashed late Friday night while conducting a refueling exercise, according to the US Department of Defense.
EUCOM did not specify the type of aircraft, where it had taken off from or what its destination was. The US recently deployed an aircraft carrier to the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as several escort vessels, in an effort to prevent the Gaza war from spilling over into the wider region.
“During a routine in-flight refueling mission as part of a military training exercise, a US aircraft carrying five servicemen crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. The five servicemen were killed,” the statement said.
Several US military aircraft and ships were involved in the search for the plane and its occupants. An investigation is also underway into the cause of the crash, EUCOM noted.
“Jill and I are praying for the families and friends who have lost loved ones. Our entire nation shares their pain,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement.