A military jet has crashed into a residential area in Imperial Valley, Southern California. At least two houses caught fire, but no one on the ground was hurt. The pilot ejected successfully and was uninjured.
The fire on the ground was quickly extinguished, yet homes impacted by the crash have been severely damaged by debris and fire.
The Third Marine Aircraft Wing AV-8B Harrier crashed at approximately 2:20pm local time (21:20 GMT). The jet was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, in Arizona, said Cpl. Melissa Lee, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The officials said the pilot ejected successfully and landed about 200 meters from the crash site. He was brought to a hospital only for a medical check.
No details about the reason for the crash have been announced yet.
"I was pretty close to it," witness Shaun Penniman told KGTV. "I heard like a pop and a whistle. And right when I looked up is when I saw the pilot eject."
Military plane crash in Imperial. Multiple homes on fire. Pilot safely ejected. No reports of fatalities on ground. pic.twitter.com/mKW3O3lMPW
— Alex Perez (@AlexPerez83) June 5, 2014
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar says it is attempting to gather more information, according to KGTV in Imperial. MCAS Miramar officials said an investigation has begun to determine the cause of the crash.
— Jeremiah Vik (@JeremiahVik) June 5, 2014
The last time a Harrier jet crashed in US was less than a month ago, when on May 9 another Harrier, stationed at MCAS Yuma, Arizona, crashed in a remote desert area south of Phoenix, near the Gila River Indian Community. The pilot also ejected safely and nobody on the ground was hurt.