F-16 fighter jet crashes while trying to land at California base, 12 minor injuries reported
An F-16 fighter jet, reportedly experiencing "possible hydraulic failure," crashed into a warehouse while attempting to land at March Air Reserve Base in Southern California, an Air Force official told Fox News late Thursday.
The pilot was not hurt, said Maj. Perry Covington, director of public affairs at the base. But at least 12 people on the ground suffered minor injuries because of debris from the crash, FOX 11 of Los Angeles reported.
Someone who was inside the warehouse when the plane hit posted a video on Facebook.
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“Holy [expletive] dude. That’s a [expletive] airplane; that’s a military airplane in our building,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Interstate 215, which runs between the base and the warehouse, was closed in both directions, backing up rush-hour traffic for miles.
Television news footage showed a large hole in the roof and sprinklers on inside the building about 65 miles east of Los Angeles. The jet's cockpit canopy was on a runway and a parachute had settled in a nearby field.
The pilot ejected and was being medically evaluated, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Office. A parachute was spotted not far from the crash site.
The F-16 is assigned to the Air National Guard, officials said. One official told Fox News that the F-16 was one of the alert jets for the North American Aerospace Defense Command and was armed.
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The base is home to the Air Force Reserve Command's Fourth Air Force Headquarters and various units of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, California Air National Guard and California Army National Guard.
The pilot, who is based in Sioux Falls, S.D., was reportedly conducting a training exercise.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known. The plane may have experienced a "possible hydraulic failure," FOX 11 reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.