An Italian military training aircraft heading home from the Dubai air show crashed into the sea on Friday off the Gulf emirate, but both crew ejected safely, officials said.
"The plane crashed off Dubai shortly after taking off en route for Italy after taking part in the air show," an aviation source told AFP without speculating on the cause of the accident.
"The pilot and co-pilot ejected and were rescued and taken to a Dubai hospital for routine examinations," added the source.
Police said the co-pilot suffered a fractured leg in the ejection.
Earlier, a civil aviation official confirmed the accident had taken place but was unable to provide any further information.
The prototype M-346 aircraft crashed at Palm Deira, an artificial island being built off the coast, shortly after taking off at 0830 GMT for Saudi Arabia, the official WAM news agency quoted police as saying.
"The causes of the accident are currently being investigated and, in accordance with company procedures, an internal investigation committee has also been set up," Italy's Alenia Aermacchi group said in a statement emailed to AFP.
"Alenia Aermacchi representatives are co-operating closely with the local authorities, through the Italian embassy in the United Arab Emirates."
The prestigious Dubai Airshow, which opened last Sunday and closed on Thursday, was attended by 1,000 exhibitors from some 50 countries.
by Presi Mandari
(c) 2011 AFP
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