- An F-16 aircraft taking off from March Air Reserve Base in Southern California crashed into the roof of a warehouse at around 3:15 p.m. on Thursday.
- At least three people were injured and taken to a local hospital.
- The pilot, who was the only one on board, reportedly ejected safely on base and deployed a parachute.
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An F-16 fighter jet that took off from March Air Reserve Base in California crashed into the roof of a warehouse building and injured at least three people on Thursday afternoon.
At least one of the injured people was a warehouse employee, the Riverside County Fire Department said to KABC. The three people who sustained injuries were taken to the Riverside University Medical Center.
The aircraft originally took off from March Air Reserve Base for a training exercise and crashed at the end of a runway. The pilot, who was the only person board, ejected safely on base and deployed a parachute, according to KABC. The pilot is a member of the 144th Fighter Wing based in Fresno, California, reportedly had little to no injuries.
The warehouse’s sprinkler system was activated and poured water at the scene of the crash.
“It was almost to the point where I had to cover my ears, and next thing you know I just hear this explosion,” Daniel Gallegos, a witness at the scene, said to KABC. “I turn around to the back of the building and I just seen a burst of flames and just the ceiling start falling through every part of the building.”
A video from one witnesses showed the damage in the warehouse:
“That’s a military airplane in our building!” New video shows the damage inside a warehouse after a F-16 Fighting Falcon carrying ammunition crashed into the building just west of March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley. Credit: Jedd Schoffstall https://t.co/NJ8p1JykuZ pic.twitter.com/Ggn36gy6qi
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) May 17, 2019
Riverside Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Holliday said the aircraft was carrying ordnance. A hazardous-material crew was deployed to the scene. Fire department officials remained on scene Thursday evening.