Just before 12:30 this afternoon, a military jet went down in Virginia Beach, crashing into an apartment complex and setting two of the buildings on fire. Two of the crew members aboard the F-18 jet ejected before the crash; one of the pilots was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.
The jet was coming from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach and was part of a training squadron. Officials aren’t sure what caused the jet to go down, but witnesses on the ground say it was straining in the air with the nose pointing up and leaked fuel on the way down.
There are no reports of injuries on the ground as yet, but a local television station has put up photos of the damage done to the apartment buildings here.
Witness Sean Pepe was driving on the interstate when he saw the plane appear to float above the treeline before going down.
“It was odd, but we didn’t think anything of it,” Pepe said. “We thought it was doing maneuvers. We were watching the plane but didn’t see the impact. We saw it go down and there was a ‘boom.’ Then there was black smoke everywhere.”
@wrossgrogg is tweeting photos, updates from scene of Navy jet crash in Virginia Beach.Twitter user
@hanseneg sad to see Virginia Beach trending for such an awful situation, hoping everyone involved with this jet crash will be okayRT
Prayers go out to those affected by the Jet Crash in Virginia Beach today