Navy Jet F/A-18 crashes in Virginia Beach
Updated: Friday, 06 Apr 2012, 1:24 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 06 Apr 2012, 12:28 PM EDT
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The Navy confirms to WAVY.com that an F-18 jet has crashed in Virginia Beach Friday afternoon.
Grazia Moyers, spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Police Department, told WAVY.com just before 12:30 p.m. what police believe is a military aircraft has gone down.
Cmdr. Phil Rosi with Naval Air Forces Atlantic told WAVY.com the plane was an F-18 with Strike Fighter Squadron 106. Rosi added two aircrew safely ejected from the plane that was based at Naval Air Station Oceana.
Sentara Healthcare says one pilot is at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.
Further information is not available at this time.
Police are responding to the scene at this time and will assist the military and the State Police, Moyer added.
Virginia State Police have shut down Interstate 264 at Laskin Road in both directions, Sgt. Anaya with the VSP said.
Virginia Department of Transportation traffic cameras showed thick, black smoke rising from the Birdneck Road area Friday afternoon around 12:30 p.m.
WAVY.com has a crew on the scene and will have more as soon as it comes in.
Two apartment buildings were on fire, CNN affiliate WTKR reported, citing witnesses.
The jet was from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The crew of the two-seater F/A-18 safely ejected, but their condition wasn’t known, a Navy spokesman said.
The plane is from a training squadron, the Navy said.
George Pilkington, an eye witness to the crash, said he was the plane flying low, with its nose up and tail down, ejecting fuel – which struck him as unusual. The engine was straining, he said.
“It came over the top of my truck emptying fuel,” Pilkington said.
“That it didn’t cause more damage to the apartment buildings was a blessing,” he said.
The plane crashed in an area of apartment complexes and homes in a resort area a half mile from the waterfront, Pilkington said.
“When the initial impact happened, there was debris and pieces of the airplane flying everywhere,” hitting other buildings, Pilkington said. “There’s damage to different parts of the buildings all around it.”
Black smoke and flames rose from the crash site.
At least one building was damaged, according to video footage from CNN affiliate WTKR. A charred section of the jet wreckage was on the ground nearby.
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