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Rescuers search for missing French fighter jet, pilots

A French Mirage 2000D jet fighter takes off in Israel on Nov. 8, 2017. A French air force spokeswoman said a Mirage 2000D disappeared Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2018, near the Swiss border.

ARIEL SCHALIT/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: January 10, 2019

PARIS — More than 100 rescuers, police and others are searching icy French mountainsides for two pilots and their fighter jet that disappeared in a snowstorm near the Swiss border.

Defense Minister Florence Parly tweeted Thursday that "the priority is to find the crew," offering "thoughts to these aviators, their families and their comrades in arms."

The plane vanished from radar Wednesday while on a low-altitude training flight.

An Air Force spokeswoman said the search for the Mirage 2000D resumed Thursday around Mignovillard in eastern France. Local officials described low visibility and snowy search conditions.

Regional television France 3 reported that some debris from the plane was found scattered around hard-to-reach, forested slopes at more than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) altitude.

Hours of searching Wednesday were inconclusive. An investigation is under way.
 

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