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Turkish Warplane Hits Coffeehouse; 14 Die, 21 Injured

April 05, 1985|Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey — A Turkish air force jet fighter crashed into a coffeehouse in the western city of Balikesir on Thursday, starting a fire that raced though a score of shops.

Officials said 14 people were killed and 21 injured as the plane crashed and exploded.

One of the jet's two crew members was among those killed, but the other bailed out when the F-104 Starfighter caught fire during a routine training flight, according to state radio and news agency reports.

The jet crashed about 300 yards from a school filled with about 1,500 students, the news agency Anatolia said.

The semiofficial agency also reported that a greater death toll was averted because a meeting of 150 people scheduled for the coffeehouse was canceled earlier in the day.

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