US F-18 fighter crash lands at Bahrain global airport

A USA military aircraft made an emergency landing at Bahrain International Airport on Saturday and its pilot ejected on the runway after an engine malfunction, a navy spokesman said.

The driver escaped unharmed.

When this could not be accomplished it made the landing instead at Bahrain International Airport, the US Navy’s 5th fleet said in a statement.

The F-18 took off from the USS Nimitz, an aircraft carrier now in the Persian Gulf, said Cmdr. Flights to and from Bahrain were disrupted after the crash. The incident resulted in the closure of the airport runway for safety reasons for all departing and incoming aircraft. The pilot was unable to make it there, however, and was forced to make an emergency landing at Bahrain International Airport.

Initially it has attempted to land at Sheikh Isa base but went on to the global airport where it touched down on the runway but could not stop. Naval officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The tiny island kingdom is now home to a USA naval support facility and holds some 8,000 U.S. troops. That base oversees some 20 USA and coalition naval vessels in the Gulf providing security and others running anti-piracy patrols.

An archipelago located between Saudi Arabia and rival regional powerhouse Iran, Bahrain is also home to a British military base that is still under construction. It has a strategic importance for the u.s. operations in the framework of the fight against the group jihadist islamic State (EI) in the region.