VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (WWBT) - A Navy F/A-18D jet crashed into a Virginia Beach senior-living complex around 12:30 p.m. Friday.
SLIDESHOW: Navy jet crashes into apartment building
No one was killed or even in critical condition, but four civilians and two pilots were taken to the hospital for injuries, according to a Virginia Beach General Hospital spokesman.
Officials say the two pilots were able to eject. One was found by volunteer rescue squad member Pat Kavanaugh, according to CNN
. "He was in shock and still strapped to his seat," Kavanaugh.
Former Navy SEAL Patrick McAleenan was a block away when the plane crashed andtold the Military Times
the pilots ejected at the last possible second in an apparent effort to make sure that the plane would not crash into a nearby school.
The crash caused a section of one building at the Mayfair Mews apartments off of Birdneck Road to collapse. A witness to the aftermath, Zack Zapatero, says people on the ground near the apartments were screaming and crying, with visible cuts and injuries.
Navy Commander Rosi told WAVY.com
the plane was an F/A-18 Strike Fighter Squadron 106 based in Oceana Naval Air Station.
An eyewitness to the plane crash, George Pilkington, told CNN that within 200 or 300 yards of where the plane crashed the aircraft emptied its jet fuel, with its nose up, and crashed into an building.
"One building was completely leveled, and debris was just flying into the other buildings," Pilkington said. "Right when I saw it, I knew something was wrong. The airplane was making a sound that sounded as if the engine was malfunctioning."
The area where the plane crashed is one-half mile from Virginia Beach oceanfront, with many homes and resort complexes.
"We are taking all possible steps at the state level to provide immediate resources and assistance to those impacted by the crash of an F-18 fighter jet in Virginia Beach," said Gov. Bob McDonnell in a written statement. "We are monitoring events carefully as they unfold and State Police resources are now on the scene. Our fervent prayer is that no one was injured or killed in this accident."