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Pilot killed when jet crashes during air show for kids

BANGKOK (AFP) – A Thai military air show for children was marred by tragedy Saturday when a fighter jet plunged from the sky and burst into flames, killing the pilot.

Families were gathered at the airport in the southern city of Hat Yai to watch the show put on for Thailand’s annual Children’s Day.

Footage of the accident captured shrieks from a startled crowd as the jet took a nosedive and crashed near the airport’s runway, releasing fiery plumes of smoke.

“One pilot was killed in the accident this morning,” defense ministry spokesman Major General Kongcheep Tantravanich told AFP.

The cause of the crash was under investigation, he added.

No one else was harmed in the incident, according to an airport official, as the audience was gathered a considerable distance away from the crash site.

A junta spokesman said the 35-year-old pilot was flying a Swedish-made JAS 39 Gripen jet.

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