Jet Crashes In Southern California, Damages Homes
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[June 05, 2014]
(Reuters) - A U.S. military jet
crashed in a Southern California desert town on Wednesday, damaging
homes, according to military officials and local media.
An AV-8B Harrier jet from the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma,
Arizona, crashed at about 4:20 p.m. local time in Imperial,
California, said Corporal Melissa Lee of the San-Diego based Marine
Corps Air Station Miramar.
As of Wednesday night, eight homes were evacuated, but no injuries
had been reported, the Miramar air station said in a statement. The
pilot of the downed plane ejected safely and was transported to a
hospital for evaluation, Lee said.
She said that civilian homes were damaged by the crash, adding that
an investigation was being conducted to uncover the cause of the
crash. Local television reports showed images of at least one house
engulfed in flames and billows of black smoke reaching into the sky.
"I heard a large explosion, and it felt like an earthquake,"
Patricia Roblas, a resident near the crash site, told NBC 7 San
"It was really scary. After they put the fires out, a few minutes
later, we saw another huge fire so we didnít know if there was an
explosion because of gas or what."
Imperial is a city of nearly 16,000 people that sits about 100 miles
(160 km) east of San Diego and only a few miles from the U.S.-Mexico
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In May, a AV-8B harrier stationed at the same Yuma airbase crashed
in a remote desert area on the Gila River Indian Community outside
of Phoenix, The Arizona Republic reported. The paper reported that
the pilot suffered only a minor injury to his nose, and no community
members were hurt.
The Harrier jet was the first in the U.S. Marine arsenal capable of
vertical or short distance takeoff and landing, and is equipped with
thrusters that allow the plane to "hover like a helicopter,"
according to the Marine's website.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Peter Cooney and Michael
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