21:11 GMT14 April 2021
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    A US Air Force pilot was forced to eject from an F-16 when the plane caught on fire while taking off from a runway in Texas.

    The aviator was rushed to the hospital following the emergency event. 

    The incident occurred at Ellington Airport outside of Houston, where officials have warned locals to stay away while the Houston Fire Department puts out the blaze. 

    ​The "downed plane" reportedly went up in flames before the plane was airborne, the Houston Fire Department said via Twitter. Officials have not detailed the extent of the pilot's injuries. 

    The Ellington air field is home to the US 147th Reconnaissance Wing of the Texas Air National Guard. The press team for the air wing did not immediately provide comment on the incident. 

    The runway has been shut down and an evacuation is underway that "covers a 4000 sq ft. radius," the Houston Fire Department said.

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