Fighter jet cuts off power to French village on low-flying exercise

Fighter jet flies through electrical lines and cuts off power to French village during low-flying exercise

  • The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon in Le Castellet, southern France
  • Two French military planes were flying close to the ground during an exercise
  • One of them struck electrical lines and cut the power supply to a village of 4,000
  • No casualties were reported in the ‘extremely rare’ incident, authorities said

A French military planes has struck electrical lines and cut the power supply to a village in southern France while carrying out a low-flying exercise.

The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon in Le Castellet, a small village of just under 4,000 residents near Manosque.

The Rafale fighter jet was one of the two aircraft performing a low-altitude training flight. They were approaching very close to the ground after taking off from a nearby air base, reports said.

The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon in Le Castellet, a small village of just under 4,000 residents near Manosque in south of France

No casualties were reported, a French Air Force spokesperson told local newspaper La Provence. The jets made a force-landing safely following the incident. 

A fire was triggered by the fall of the electrical cables, but the blaze was quickly contained, La Provence newspaper reported.

An investigation has been carried out for the incident, which was described as ‘extremely rare’ by French authorities. 

Benoît Gouin, the mayor of the French village said the two aircraft were flying so low that ‘it made a hell of a din.’

‘It was so low that I said to myself: it went under the power lines,’ he told local news outlet France Bleu.

A Rafale planes on a low-altitude training flight were flying very close to the ground after taking off from a nearby air base, reports said. In this file photo, a Rafale fighter jet taxis on the tarmac after landing in Tanagra military airport, Greece, on February 4

The local official, who was driving at the time, added that he came across sectioned electric cables hanging on the ground.

‘One of the planes hit the line and cut it. I immediately called the emergency services and the Enedis [electricity company] team.’

The village of Castellet remained without power for a few hours, while no access road to it was allowed due to security reasons.  

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