U.S. Navy fighter jet crashes into apartment complex

Apartment complex in Virginia Beach heavily damaged

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. | April 6, 2012

" I, like many, pray for the well-being of all"

— Adm. John C. Harvey Jr.

A U.S. Navy F-18 fighter jet crashed into a Virginia Beach apartment complex Friday shortly after takeoff, officials said.

Virginia Beach Fire and Rescue spokesman Battalion Chief Tim Riley said five buildings at the Mayfair Mews apartment complex were heavily damaged, WVEC-TV, Hampton Roads, Va., reported.

Six people, including the pilots, were treated at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, WVEC reported. The pilots were in stable condition Friday afternoon.

The Virginia Department of Health urged local residents to stay away from the site and close their windows because of air quality concerns.

The crash occurred at approximately 12:05 p.m., shortly after takeoff from Naval Air Station Oceana.

The fighter jet was assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 106.

"My thoughts and prayers are with our citizens and families who have been impacted by the tragic crash today in Virginia Beach by an aircraft from NAS Oceana," Adm. John C. Harvey Jr., commander of U.S. Fleet Forces, said in a statement. "I deeply regret that some in our community have lost their homes, and I, like many, pray for the well-being of all."

Harvey said he was grateful to residents and first responders "for their immediate and heroic response to take care of our aircrew after they ejected and all at the scene of the mishap."

The Navy is working with the city to coordinate assistance.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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