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Fighter aircraft crashes in Switzerland: ministry

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F/A-18C Hornet of the Swiss Air Force. A file photo.

GENEVA (AFP): A Swiss army fighter aircraft crashed in a mountainous area of the Alpine country on Wednesday, the defence ministry said, though it was not immediately known if there were any victims.

"I can confirm that there has been a crash. It is an F/A-18," ministry spokesman Peter Minder told AFP, confirming reports that the fighter jet had crashed in the central canton of Obwalden.

It remained unclear how many people were on board and if anyone was killed or hurt in the accident, he said.

Swiss daily Tages Anzeiger reported in its online edition that the F/A-18 Hornet had crashed near a military airport in the village of Alpnach.

According to a witness account on Blick.ch, two fighter aircraft had been flying in parallel when one crashed into a mountainside.

"I was standing on my balcony, when two F/A-18s flew by very low. Then there was a bang. A jet had slammed into a rock wall," the witness was quoted as saying.

Switzerland bought 34 single- and double-seated F/A-18s in 1996, built by US company McDonnell Douglas.

A double-seater crashed in Crans-Montana in the south of the country in 1998, leaving 33 in service.

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