Marine jet crash forces residents of 8 homes to flee

Marine jet crash in Imperial destroys three homes and sets two on fire

Authorities said residents were able to get out of homes in Imperial County on Wednesday after a Marine Harrier jet crashed into a neighborhood in the city of Imperial.

Two homes caught fire but everyone in the houses escaped, the city's Fire Chief Tony Rouhotas said. A total of eight homes were evacuated.

Neighbors rushed to one home and made sure everyone had escaped, said Chelcey Adami, a reporter for the Imperial Valley Press. The crash left residents stunned and unsure what had happened.

The AV-8B Harrier jet from the Marine Corps Air Station at Yuma, Ariz., crashed about 4:20 p.m., according to a spokesman for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

The pilot ejected safely and was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

Paramedics were on the scene but none of the neighborhood residents appeared to need treatment, Adami said. Three of the eight evacuated homes were considered a total loss, Marine officials said.

Imperial is a community of about 15,000 people between El Centro and Brawley.

Marines said that the cause of the crash was under investigation and that they would work with residents affected by the incident.


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