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2 civilian pilots presumed dead in mid-air crash with German military jet

Germany Plane Accident-1.jpg

A helicopter has landed near debris of a crashed Learjet near Elpe, Germany, Monday, June 23, 2014. The Learjet with two persons on board collided with a Eurofigher of German airforce which landed safely at its base in Noervenich. (AP Photo/dpa, Joerg Taron) (The Associated Press)

German police say two civilian pilots whose military-chartered jet crashed after colliding with a fighter plane are presumed dead.

A spokeswoman for police in the Sauerland region east of Cologne says human remains found near the site of Monday's crash likely belonged to the pilots, aged 50 and 43.

The Learjet was taking part in a maneuver with two Eurofighter jets when it collided with one of the military planes near the town of Elpe. It crashed 90 meters (300 feet) from a residence.

Police spokeswoman Bianca Scheer said Tuesday that prosecutors have begun an investigation into possible negligent homicide on the part of the fighter pilot.

The fighter pilot landed safely at a military airfield despite having a full fuel tank ripped off in the collision.