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An Air Force training plane has crashed into the Karnaphuli River at Chattogram’s Patenga, but the two pilots on board have survived. The plane crashed soon after it took off from the Chittagong Air Base at 10:28am on Thursday, said Group Captain Taslim Ahmad, manager of Shah Amanat International Airport.

The plane caught on fire immediately after takeoff. It then broke into pieces and scattered as it crashed into the Karnaphuli River behind the boat club, said Shakila Sultana, deputy commissioner (port) of the Chattogram Metropolitan Police.

“The pilot and the co-pilot parachuted down safely. They were rescued and taken to a hospital.”

“A YAK 130 training fighter plane of the Bangladesh Air Force crashed in Chattogram’s Patenga due to mechanical failure,” the Inter-Services Public Relations said. “The two pilots on board have been rescued.”

The Russian-made YAK 130 is said to be an advanced jet training aircraft and can be used for training on fourth and fifth generation fighter jets. The craft can also be used as light combat aircraft and as reconnaissance aircraft. The Bangladesh Air Force has dozens of YAK 130s in its fleet.

Following the accident, river transport on an estuary of the Karnaphuli River was paused for some time before port authorities lifted the alert.