Two Iranian fighter jet pilots were killed on Tuesday when their ejector seats activated before take-off, smashing them into the hangar roof.
State broadcaster reported the F-5 fighter jet had a ‘technical problem’ that killed both the pilots, identified as Kianoush Basati and Hossein Namni.
The report said the incident unfolded at Dezful Vahdati Air Force Base, approximately 270 miles south of the capital Tehran, and near the Iraq border.
The accident happened before the F-5 plane they were in took off from the base in Dezful, the city’s governor Ali Farahmandpour was quoted as saying by state news agency.
The airbase was closed off and the cause of the accident, initially described as “technical”, was being investigated, he added.
Farahmandpour said there was no “air accident or crash” and that further details on what happened would be made public after the investigation, according to state television’s website.
Iran’s armed forces still mainly use aircraft purchased before the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, with years of international sanctions making it increasingly difficult to purchase parts for maintenance.