US Navy jet crashes, pilots safe

April 7th, 2012 - 9:13 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 7 (IANS) A US Navy jet Friday crashed into a building near Virginia Beach, causing a fire and injuring three people — the two pilots and a man on the ground, media reports said.

According to Xinhua, the local WTKR TV said the plane was an F/A 18D Navy jet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 at Naval Air Station Oceana. It crashed into the apartment building in Virginia Beach on Birdneck Road.

Fire and heavy black smoke was seen at the site of the crash, and the plane got disintegrated, another report said.

CNN quoted a witness as saying that when the plane crashed, there was “debris and pieces of the airplane flying everywhere”, that hit other buildings.

The two pilots, who had ejected before the impact, were taken to hospital. The state of their injuries was not known, said Tim Riley of the Virginia Beach Police Department.

At least one person was injured on the ground.

The air crash also caused a temporary disruption in road traffic.

VFA-106 is based at Naval Air Station Oceana near Virginia Beach. It serves as the East Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron. Their mission is to train Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 Replacement Pilots and Weapon Systems Officers to support fleet commitments.

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