A Croatian air force plane burns after crashing in Biljane, Croatia, Thursday, May 7, 2020. Croatia’s Defense Ministry says an…
A Croatian air force plane burns after crashing in Biljane, Croatia, May 7, 2020.

Croatia's defense minister has resigned after an air force training plane crashed shortly after takeoff from a military airbase in the southwest of the country.

Both crew members were killed in Thursday’s crash. A similar accident three months ago, when a helicopter crashed, also killed two pilots.

Damir Krsticevic announced his resignation, saying “we have to be transparent" and take responsibility for the crashes.

"This is a big loss for the Croatian army,” Krsticevic said. “I am today stepping down from the role of vice president of the government and minister of defense of the Croatian Republic. Thank you."

The Croatian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the Zlin single-engine aircraft crashed at around 4 p.m. local time during a routine training flight near the central Adriatic town of Zadar.

The ministry did not give any explanation for the possible cause of the accident.

Images for the from the scene of the crash showed a small plane’s wreckage in flames, near what seemed to be a private house.