The Navy has confirmed that one of its aircraft has crashed into a Virginia Beach apartment complex, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
Military and police are on the scene.
The Virginian-Pilot reports Cmdr. Phil Rosi, a spokesman for Naval Air Force Atlantic, as saying two parachutes were seen, which means those in the plane may have been able to eject safely. WAVY, the local NBC affiliate, reports Sentara Healthcare as saying one of the pilots was found and brought to the Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital. The condition of this pilot is unknown at the time.
According to WJLA, the effected apartment complex is located at at 900 block of S Birdneck Road in Virginia Beach. The apartments have been identified as the Mayfield Mews apartments, and authorities are going door-to-door at nearby residences to see if anyone had knowledge of a person inside the building. The plane that hit the building was a F/A-18 Hornet belonging to the VFA (Strike Fighter Squadron) 106.
Watch this report on the accident:
CNN provides details from eye witnesses:
George Pilkington, a witness to the crash, said he was the plane flying low, with its nose up and tail down, ejecting fuel – which struck him as unusual. The engine was straining, he said.
“It came over the top of my truck emptying fuel,” Pilkington said.
“That it didn’t cause more damage to the apartment buildings was a blessing,” he said.
The plane crashed in an area of apartment complexes and homes in a resort area a half mile from the waterfront, Pilkington said.
“When the initial impact happened, there was debris and pieces of the airplane flying everywhere,” hitting other buildings, Pilkington said. “There’s damage to different parts of the buildings all around it.”
Zack Zapatero, another witness, told CNN he saw a few people walking out of one of the smoky, damaged buildings. Some of them had cuts and were coughing, he said.
WAVY reports this statement made by Congressman Scott Rigell:
“Our prayers are with our entire Hampton Roads and military communities right now as our first responders are admirably addressing the situation on the ground. I have spoken with Governor McDonnell, Mayor Sessoms, and leadership at Naval Air Station Oceana, and my office and I stand ready to assist as appropriate.”
According to WAVY, Grazia Moyers, a spokeswoman for the state police department, said the crash occurred just before 12:30 p.m. Virginia State Police have shut down a portion of Interstate 264 for a time but have since opened at least one lane.
This is a breaking story. Updates will be added as details become available.