A military plane crashed in the vicinity of the Beliu town, Arad county, in Western Romania at noon on Wednesday. It was not immediately known whether the pilot of the MIG 21 Lancer plane is still alive, but authorities confirmed his death late today.

Arad prefect Gavril Popescu told the Realitatea TV news station that the spot where the plane crashed is isolated and the local population was asked to evacuate the area.

The MIG 21 belonged to the military unit in Campia Turzii.

Authorities first suggested that the pilot managed to propel himself out of the plane before the crash and only suffered minor injuries. But he was later found dead, as he failed to catapult out in due time.

According to Beliu mayor Pavel Tica, quoted by the same TV station, a 6-7 meter-wide crater was formed where the plane hit the ground near a wood deposit and apparently the pilot has tried to avoid crashing in a populated area.

It is the ninth such incident involving MIG 21 Lancer planes belonging to the Romanian Air Force.