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German Military Plane Crashes in US

October 20, 1998

CHINA LAKE, Calif. (AP) _ A German Air Force plane crashed during a flight over the sprawling China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, killing both people aboard and injuring several on the ground.

A Defense Ministry spokesman in Bonn, Germany, said both of the dead crew members _ a pilot and a weapons systems officer _ were German military men. He declined to release more information on Monday’s crash.

The two-seat Tornado aircraft, one of three planes from a German Air Force unit conducting routine test missions at the base, crashed at about 10 a.m., Navy officials said. Several structures and vehicles were damaged or destroyed.

One base employee suffered a broken ankle and arm when the plane struck a control van on the ground while five other Navy employees were treated for minor injuries or smoke inhalation and released, the statement said.

Base spokesman Steven Boster declined to comment and referred calls to the German embassy in Washington, where telephones rang unanswered Monday night.

China Lake is about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Update hourly