B-1 bomber catches fire in Qatar
A US B-1 bomber aircraft has caught fire in the Gulf state of Qatar, reports from the country say.
The incident happened as it was taxiing at al-Udeid Air Base, Qatar-based al-Jazeera television reports.
The cause of the incident is as yet unknown, a US defence official told Reuters news agency. No information on casualties was immediately available.
The base is used by the US as the headquarters for its air operations in the Middle East.
“A B-1 crashed,” the US official said. “We’re investigating.”
The B-1 is a long-range bomber aircraft, usually flown by a crew of four.
It reaches supersonic speeds and can fly intercontinental missions without refuelling.
The aircraft has been in service since the Cold War and has a “reasonably good” safety record, defence analyst Paul Beaver told the BBC.
The base, 35km (20 miles) south of Qatar’s capital, Doha, has the longest runway in the region and can accommodate up to 120 aircraft.