ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek Air Force rescuers have located the body of a second airman missing in a deadly training accident in southwestern Greece, ending a two-day search at sea and on land, officials said Wednesday.
The two-seater F-4E Phantom II crashed in the sea during a training exercise Monday and the body of the co-pilot, 29-year-old Lt. Marios Touroutsikas, was located shortly afterward.
The search for the 31-year-old pilot, Maj. Stathis Tsitlakidis, had continued, involving helicopters, patrol boats, navy divers and an unmanned submersible.
“The news of the loss of Maj. Tsitlakidis has compounded our national grief. The Air Force and all of Greece are in mourning and we honor them,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wrote in a tweet.
Air Force officials gave no details on the training exercise or how the bodies of the two airmen were discovered, but state-run television reported that the pair had been practicing low altitude maneuvers.
The exercise was conducted out of Andravida Air Base in the southern Peloponnese region, some 275 kilometers (170 miles) west of Athens.