A US Navy F-18 jet has crashed shortly after take off in a residential area near Virginia Beach, Virginia. The F/A-18 plane’s two crew members successfully ejected from the aircraft before it hit the ground, and were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a local hospital, emergency response officials said on Friday.
No deaths have been reported, but three residents of the Mayfair Mews complex for the elderly were unaccounted for, authorities said. Crews had carefully checked 95 percent of the apartments under the charred rubble and only three people remained unaccounted for early Saturday, said fire department Capt. Tim Riley.
The two-seat F/A-18 jet landed eerily upright in flames in a courtyard surrounded by the five apartment buildings that were suddenly set afire. No fatalities have been reported, but officials say they have not accounted for all the residents in the apartment buildings. The cause of the crash is not yet known. The two pilots were a student and an instructor.
Three buildings were destroyed by the crash, and two more suffered significant damage, Tim Riley, a fire department spokesperson, said. Thick black clouds of smoke billowed into the air as fire reduced the apartment buildings to a blackened shell. Some 40 apartment units were damaged or destroyed. Military authorities are investigating what happened.
In shock, the pilot apologized for his jet crashing into the apartment complex, and residents pulled him safely away from the fiery crash zone, said Kavanaugh, a retired rescue worker. read more Three Unaccounted For After US Navy Fighter Jet Crashes Into Apartments