April 6th, 2012
05:35 PM ET

Navy jet crashes into apartments in Virginia

[Updated at 6:05 p.m. ET] A Navy fighter jet experienced a "catastrophic mechanical malfunction" during takeoff Friday over the military community of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and rained a stench of jet fuel shortly before crashing into apartment buildings, according to residents and Navy officials.

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The jet carried a student pilot in the front seat and an experienced instructor behind him, and the dumping of jet fuel was "one of the indications that there was a mechanical malfunction," Navy Capt. Mark Weisgerber told reporters.

The malfunction is being investigated, he said.

The two pilots, a police officer and three other people were taken to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, Dr. Thomas Thames, the hospital's vice president of medical affairs, told CNN affiliate WAVY.

None of the injuries was considered life-threatening, Thames said.

Virginia Beach Mayor William Sessoms told CNN that nine people suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The crash and explosion ruptured the easy mood of spring break and the unfolding Easter and Passover holiday weekend, and the two-seater F/A-18 jet landed eerily upright in flames in a courtyard surrounded by five apartment buildings suddenly set afire, according to residents and authorities.

The two crew members ejected safely, the Navy said. Resident Pat Kavanaugh told CNN affiliate WTKR that he and others found one of them still strapped to his seat with a lacerated face. Kavanaugh said he was on his couch when he heard a loud boom and was startled to see a parachute hanging from the building.

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soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. Chuck Connors

    Borrrrrrrring.

    April 6, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juz

      Apparently, not as boring as your day, where you are excitingly busy with making pointless comments about jet crashes from your couch.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • achaney

      Chuck really?

      April 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • navymom

      It's not boring if you have a son in the Navy at Oceana and daughter- in-law and grandkids that live in Va Beach. Praying all are ok.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • coldtexan

      Chuck, please pick one of my N U T S for you to choke on. Meanwhile, the rest of us will continue to hope the best for the pilots and the people on the ground at this accident.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Claudette

      Chuck, You should be ashamed of yourself! How dare you. Spring Break started today in our area and there may be many injuries or deaths. Keep your negative opinions to yourself. And NYGuy, you have no clue what happened to judge these men. No clue. You should be sending prayers to the families who are effected by this tragic event rather than judging something you don't understand or have all the facts!

      April 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Monkin

    it was delivering a pizza to obama

    April 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • chewie

      you are such a jerk... you have such a hate for our president, instead you should be using your energy to pray for anyone that might have got hurt in the crash.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      You're an idiot. There's a time for political BS and a time to be serious. This is the later.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hawthorne

      Really, when there is possible loss of life, this is the best comment you can make?

      April 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Navydoc

    May God bless each of the victims.

    April 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • db

      What victims? Did anybody read that someone got killed?

      April 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logan

      the inane, insensitive comments of some of the bloggers is just wrong. People probably died in this tragedy. You haters and idiots should be ashamed for the terrible comments.I guess you don't care about Karma.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Irishiiz

      Thanks NavyDoc...the only one who is mature enough to leave a respectful post here.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      @db
      There most certainly are victims. The jet crashed into peoples homes. Even if no one was killed or injured the people affected are still victims.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Humanist in Training

      Your invisible sky friend allowed the plane to crash into the apartments so I'm guessing being blessed to be dead is not really tautological.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dani

    That's terrible...hoping the pilot managed to get out in time and that nobody in the apartments have been killed.

    April 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. db

    Woops, hope they remembered where the ejection handles were and got out. Not a time to play hero when things get uncontrollable.

    April 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. vbdenny

    Local reports say pilots parachutes were seen. Plane hit apartment building near 24th and Birdneck rd. I-264 closed in both direction at Laskin.

    April 6, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ann west

    πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄ πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄

    I don't care what anyone says" these guys CAN'T fly!!!" We have more Crashes here then when we're at war.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Riptide80

      What an awful and irrational stat. 1)We fly more here, domestically, for training purposes. 2)The amt of flight / crash ratio is slim. This is the first a situation of this magnitude has happened here.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      Where is "here"? You obviously don't live "here" in the Hampton Roads area. I've been here sine the late 80's and don't ever recall this happening before.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • InHot

      And when was the last mishap in the V B area involving a military aircraft?

      April 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nadine Mongan

      Anne I would love to see you fly one of these! If you have no clue how things work or what happened we the m=Navy would prefer you keep you uninformed ignorant comments to yourself!
      May God watch over the Victims of this crash.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teresa Yaeger

      This is for ANN who THINKS these pilots can't fly!!!! May I please ask where you live??????? Do you see them fly everyday? Do you even live near or in a military town? Well I DO!!! And I see them fly all the time!!! This has NEVER happened before that I can remember here in my entire life and I have lived here where the WORLDS LARGEST NAVAL BASE IS!!! I am almost 43 years old now! Do NOT judge these service members who put their lives on the line every single day! Remember they work 24 hours a day 365 days a year! They are NEVER "off work."

      April 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norfolk Resident

      really? where do you live, cause I have not heard of anything like this ahppening since I have lived here.....

      April 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scotty

      Ann, you havent got a clue about what you spout off about.... do you? Maybe you should remember the only reason you are free is because of people like that, who put themselves at risk everyday doing something patriotic for their country while you just sit there and complain about insignifcant stuff during a time like this. They obviously know how to fly or the military wouldnt put them behind the controls of such an expensive aircraft... learn your facts!

      April 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • ann west

      🎯 MARC Are you really asking "where's here"? Don't you know ? Here is "America". I will rephrase it for idiots.They (THE NAVY PILOTS) crash here in AMERICA every few weeks(WEEK =7 DAYS) which is more than they crash (CRASH=PLANE GOING DOWN)while at war (WAR=GROUPS OF PEOPLE MINDLESSLY KILLING EACH OTHER)

      April 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • panzerman13

      ann west

      πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄ πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄πŸ”΄

      I don't care what anyone says" these guys CAN'T fly!!!" We have more Crashes here then when we're at war.
      --------------------------------------------
      You HAVE heard of mechanical failures...right? Or are you a COMPLETE idiot?

      April 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DJF

    These are people who serve our country. Have some respect.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pam Huber

    It was the Mayflower Meadows Apartments off I-264 @ Birdneck Rd. One witness said they saw one person eject.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Connie Wells

      Pam – is this really you??? or at least the Pam Huber I know??? I was reading thru this and saw your name and just had to write and say hello. Please respond. I would love to catch up with you...really πŸ™‚

      April 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      Mayfair Mews, not Meadows.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. VB Local

    One local news source is reporting 2 parachute sightings. But 2 apartment buildings are on fire.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lisa

    Prayers and thoughts to all involved. This is very scary.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoodleHat

      Honestly, what will prayers do? If your space ghost wanted people to be fine, this wouldn't have happened to begin with. Grow up and stop worshiping fairy tales.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jack

    About 10 miles from where I live. Looks like the wing broke off, both people in plane ejected and in hospital now, but should be ok. Can only pray for people who live in apartments. Pictures look pretty bad...

    April 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teresa Yaeger

      Absolutely Jack...Please refer to my reply to Ann...you will be surprised by what she says. I am in Bowers Hill. Hi neighbor...

      April 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini Β©β„’

    I am hoping for the best possible outcome in this terrible situation.
    My sympathy to the families of any who may have perished.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

      @Joey Isotta-Fraschini Β©β„’

      Well said.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Live nearby

    Live news stream. http://www.wavy.com/generic/news/WAVY_Newscast_Live_Stream

    2 pilots ejected, safely at hospital. No confirmed injuries (yet). Fingers crossed that no kids at home...

    April 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Patriarchae

    Dang, that's a nasty incident. Hope everyone involved comes out of it alive and well.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
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