Friday, April 6, 2012
A Navy jet crashed into a Virginia Beach, Virginia apartment complex today shortly after noon local time. The Department of Defense reports both crew members on board ejected safely.
At least one building that's part of the Mayfair Mews Apartment complex in Virginia Beach was engulfed in flames after the crash. No deaths have yet been reported, according to CNN. A military spokeswoman told the cable channel that one crew member and one person on the ground have been hospitalized for injuries stemming from the crash.
Witness told Bruce Nedelka, the Virginia Beach EMS division chief, that the pilot dumped fuel before the crash. Nedelka explained to the Associated Press:
"By doing so, he mitigated what could have been an absolute massive, massive fireball and fire. With all of that jet fuel dumped, it was much less than what it could have been."
Adm. John C. Harvey, Jr., commander, U.S. Fleet Forces released the following statement on the crash:
"My thoughts and prayers are with our citizens and families who have been impacted by the tragic crash today in Virginia Beach by an aircraft from NAS Oceana.
"I deeply regret that some in our community have lost their homes, and I, like many, pray for the well-being of all.
"I must also offer my deepest gratitude to the citizens of Virginia Beach and the Mayfair Mews Apartments, as well as Virginia Beach's first responders, for their immediate and heroic response to take care of our aircrew after they ejected and all at the scene of the mishap.
"I have spoken with Mayor Sessoms, and all the resources of the Navy in Hampton Roads are being made available to the City of Virginia Beach as we all deal with the impacts and recovery from this terrible mishap.
"We will continue to work directly with the City of Virginia Beach and continue to provide all possible assistance.
"We will conduct a complete investigation into the cause of this mishap and share all information we have as soon as we are able to do so."
It was an F/A-18D that crashed into a San Diego-area house in 2008, killing a family of four inside the home.
The Pentagon Channel has more on the story: