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U.S. Navy F-18 Jet crashes near Virginia Beach

04-07-2012 09:21 BJT

WASHINGTON, April 6 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. Navy jet on Friday crashed into an apartment building near Virginia Beach, Virginia, causing a fire, local TV reports quoted a military spokesman as saying.

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 belched out from the site of the crash, and the plane was disintegrated, according to the reports.

CNN quoted witness George Pilkington as saying that when the plane crashed, there was "debris and pieces of the airplane flying everywhere," hitting other buildings. Pilkington also said there was damage to buildings nearby.

The two pilots, who had been ejected before the impact, were transported to the hospital. The state of their injuries is not immediately known, according to Tim Riley of the Virginia Beach Police Department.

At least one person was injured on the ground, said local media.

The air crash also caused temporary disruptions with traffic on nearby roads and an interstate.

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.

Initial reports indicate that at approximately 12:05 p.m. Friday, the jet crashed just after takeoff at a location just off of the base.

The Navy is coordinating with local authorities over the accident.

Editor:Liu Fang |Source: Xinhua

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