September 28, 2018 / 11:52 AM / 8 months ago

Nigerian military pilot dies after air display rehearsal accident

Smoke is seen at the site where two Nigerian military planes were involved in an accident while rehearsing for an air display in Abuja, Nigeria September 28, 2018. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

ABUJA (Reuters) - A Nigerian military pilot died on Friday after being involved in an accident while rehearsing for an air display, an air force spokesman said.

He earlier said two military planes had been involved in an accident. Witnesses reported seeing the wings of the planes collide in the air over the capital, Abuja, with at least one of the aircraft crashing into a hill in the Mpape district of the city.

“It is with a heavy heart that I regretfully announce that one of the pilots who successfully ejected from one of the F-7Ni aircraft that crashed earlier today has passed on,” said airforce spokesman Ibikunle Daramola.

Nigeria is due to celebrate the anniversary of independence from British colonial rule on Oct. 1.

Reporting by Felix Onuah, Camillus Eboh and Afolabi Sotunde in Abuja, additional reporting by Paul Carsten in London; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky/Richard Balmforth

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