A U.S. fighter jet crash landed into a Virginia Beach apartment building.
April 7, 2012– A Navy fighter jet crashed in an apartment complex after malfunctioning shortly after takeoff. Smoke and flames could be seen coming from a Virginia Beach apartment building on Friday morning. Both pilots were able to eject prior to impact and suffered only minor injuries. Five people on the ground also were injured from the crash.
No fatalities were reported, but emergency personnel were still combing through the damaged building where over 40 apartment units were partially damaged or completely destroyed. A total of seven people were taken to nearby hospitals, including the two Naval Air Station Oceana pilots. Six of the seven had been released by the afternoon. One of the pilots was still in the hospital.
A captain with the Virginia Beach Fire Department said that over 24 people were still not accounted for. Emergency personnel had searched all by six of the apartments looking for the missing. The plane was able to dump most of its fuel prior to crashing, although it was unknown if that was intentional on the part of the pilots or part of the malfunction that caused the accident.
Navy investigators are looking into the cause of the crash that took place only about 10 miles from the Oceania air station base. The two pilots included one student and one instructor. A navy spokesman said the experience of the student was unknown at the present time, but the instructor was one of the most experienced on staff.