Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Jet crashes into California homes

05 June 2014, 17:23

Imperial - A military jet slammed into a Southern California neighbourhood dense with homes and exploded in flames, but the pilot and everyone on the ground emerged unscathed, officials said.

Moments after the pilot ejected to safety Wednesday afternoon, the Harrier jet went down in a residential area of Imperial and destroyed two homes and heavily damaged a third.

Eleven-year-old Christopher Garcia was watching TV with his father and brother when he heard a frightening boom. Outside, he said he saw a pilot in a parachute falling from the sky, and what looked like a mushroom cloud of dark smoke two blocks away.

He ran to the crash scene to find one house with a collapsed roof, the neighbouring house on fire, and a crying woman shouting, "That's my house!" The boy and other witnesses said panicked neighbours were running in every direction.

Debris from the Harrier jet hit the roof of one of the houses, which was destroyed, Marine Lieutenant Colonel John Ferguson said. The subsequent explosion and fire destroyed another house and badly damaged one more.

The pilot, the only one aboard the aircraft, landed in a nearby field. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation and released, Ferguson said.

Jose Santos had seen the jet go down and was driving to the crash scene when he saw the pilot "rolling from side to side," but looking unhurt.

Leonardo Olmeda, aged 25, was racing remote-controlled cars in a street with many children playing when they saw the pilot eject and the nearby explosion.

"It was a big flash, a bunch of black smoke, like a mushroom effect," Olmeda said.

The Harrier AV-8B had taken off from Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona, and was almost at his destination at Naval Air Facility El Centro when he ejected and the jet crashed for reasons not immediately clear, Ferguson said.

It came down in the yard on a street lined with small homes on one side with a large park on the other in Imperial, a city of about 15 000 near the US-Mexico border about 145km east of San Diego.

Residents of eight more homes had to evacuate for the investigation and cleanup but later returned, officials said.

- AP

Tags us

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...