A Bangladesh Air Force fighter jet crashed in the Bay of Bengal on Monday minutes after it took off from a military base in the south-eastern port city of Chittagong with its lone pilot missing.
"An F-7 fighter aircraft of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has crashed into the sea after taking off from the BAF Base Zahurul Haque," a defence ministry spokesman told PTI.
The authorities have launched a search operation to trace the missing pilot identified as Flight Lieutenant Tahmid. A salvage campaign was launched immediately in search of the missing pilot and the plane, the spokesman said.
The navy and the Chittagong port authorities have joined hands with the air force in searching out the missing pilot, said Chittagong Airport Manager Wing Commander Nur E Alam.
Alam said the Chinese made F-7 fighter jet, which is used as a training aircraft, was believed to have crashed into the sea six miles off the Patenga beach minutes after it took off from the base adjacent to the Chittagong Airport.
"It took off at 11 am (local time) and lost links with the control tower at 11.14am. The aircraft visibly crashed in the sea at around 11.30 am," another official said.