A fighter jet crashed in Arizona Wednesday night in a wave of fire that scorched an area approximately 400 yards wide and a quarter-mile long, causing at least one home to be evacuated.
The jet, an F-16 Fighting Falcon flown by an Iraqi pilot, crashed five miles east of the Douglas Municipal Airport during a night training mission with the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing, according to The Associated Press
. Although the Guard has not yet released any other information about the pilot, his whereabouts, or his condition, it noted that he had been training in the U.S. for four years.
The crash caused a major gas line to rupture in a fire that swept across an area the length of three football fields, according to RT.
Eddie Gonzalez, who lives near the crash site, said that he and his family felt an explosion that shook their house around 8:30 p.m., the Sierra Vista Herald reported
. When he stepped outside, Gonzales “saw a fireball, like a bomb.”
The initial report of the crash and subsequent explosion came to 911 from a woman who declared that “there was an airplane on fire in her front yard,” Carol Capas, a spokeswoman for the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department, told Tucson.com
Matt King, a Douglas Fire public information officer, told the Sierra Vista Herald that they had set up a perimeter around the Leslie Canyon Road and the Cochise Fairground immediately following the nearby crash before military personnel were expected to show up to take over the scene in the morning.
According to NBC News, U.S. Army personnel
from Fort Huachuca were deployed to secure the site until Air Force officials arrived.
The Iraqi pilot is still listed as missing as of this morning, according to Tucson.com.
As the details are being eagerly awaited, many people turned to Twitter to voice their thoughts and concerns:
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