Warplane slams into residential Yemeni neighborhood

Yemeni soldiers and firefighters work to extinguish fire at the site of a plane crash in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013.
AP Photo

SANAA, Yemen A Yemeni military plane crashed Tuesday into a residential neighborhood in the country's capital, Sanaa, killing 10 people and injuring 17, the defense ministry and security officials said.

The plane crashed during a training exercise, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Mawry. He told The Associated Press that it hit two houses in the al-Qadissiya district, and that the pilot was also killed in the crash.

The defense ministry confirmed the crash in a statement, saying the plane was on a training mission when it crashed, totally destroying one house and damaging others. It said an investigation is under way.

An eyewitness, Ahmed Fathi, said he saw five burnt bodies taken away by an ambulance. Fathi, who lives in the neighborhood, also said two houses were completely destroyed in the crash and that people were still believed to be under the rubble.

The neighborhood is close to the main city square that was the epicenter of Yemen's uprising and protests over the past two years.

Medical officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media, said the civilians killed in the crash included three women, two children and four men. They said they believed were more victims were under the rubble.