A Chinese navy fighter jet on a nighttime training mission crashed into buildings in an eastern city, but the pilot ejected safely and there were no reports of casualties, the Defense Ministry reported Thursday.

The accident occurred around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the city of Taizhou in Zhejiang province. The ministry said parts of a sewing machine factory were destroyed in the crash, but the pilot had ejected and no one was apparently hurt on the ground. It said the navy and East China Sea Fleet were investigating the cause of the crash.

The type of plane involved wasn't identified. China's navy operates older J-7 and J-8 fighters along with cutting-edge variants of the Russian Su-27, including a version assigned to China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning.

In a commentary on the crash, the ministry's website said the number of such accidents was likely to grow as the intensity of training increased, including more difficult and physically demanding nighttime missions.