At least 10 Greek and French nationals were killed on Monday when a fighter jet crashed at a NATO military base in south-eastern Spain, the country's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said.
The two-seater Greek F-16 fighter jet is understood to have nosedived and exploded after the Greek pilot engaged in a wrong manoeuvre shortly after takeoff at around 3:30 pm local time, Spanish media reported.
"A Greek F-16 crashes soon after taking off during a NATO exercise in Spain's 'Los Llanos' (Albacete) airbase," a tweet from the official Ministry of Defence in Spain said.
According to another statement from the Defence Ministry, the location of the plane crash was where French Mirage and Italian Alpha Jets were parked and preparing to take part in a training exercise on Tactical Leadership Program.
Among those killed are the two Greek pilots on board and eight French nationals, British paper Independent reported.
Twenty-one other people, including 10 French individuals and 11 Italians were injured during the crash that took place in the base where NATO trains pilots and crews from member states. Five of the injured were being treated in a special burns unit at La Paz Hospital in Madrid and the rest of them were taken to a hospital in Albacete, according to the Ministry statement.
Media reports have cited eyewitnesses as hearing four explosions as the fighter jet exploded on its impact on the ground.
Photos posted online showed a column of smoke rising from where the plane crashed and witnesses have also described a massive amount of heat emanating from the crash site.
The official Facebook page of the base has put up a black ribbon as its profile picture in order to mark the deaths.