An F-16 returning to March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley after a routine training mission crashed after its hydraulics failed and its pilot ejected, base officials said Thursday.
The jet crashed into a building off the base, on Van Buren Boulevard near the 215 Freeway, about 3:45 p.m.
Captured on a dashboard camera by a commuter on the freeway, the jet appeared to be leaning to one side as it dropped to the ground outside the base.
The pilot had reported hydraulics problems and said he was returning to base when he was forced to eject moments before impact, said the base's deputy fire chief, Timothy Holliday.
The crash ignited a fire but it "wasn't very big," Holliday said.
Three people who were on the ground suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene and released, Holliday said. A total of 12 people, including the pilot, were taken to the hospital to be treated, a Cal Fire official said. No one suffered life-threatening injuries.
Authorities set up a perimeter while they secured the live ordnance the jet was carrying, Holliday said.
A person who was in the building when the plane crashed recorded the immediate aftermath on camera and published it on Facebook.
"Holy [expletive] dude. That's a [expletive] airplane; that's a military airplane in our building," he said. Water is seen cascading from the roof.
Ty Stanonis was on the freeway when the crash occurred ahead of him, he told FOX11. His vehicle's dashboard camera recorded the moment the jet crashed, showing the plane dropping into the building.
"Everybody was slowing down, just trying to figure out what just happened," Stanonis said.
The pilot's parachute deployed after he ejected, and he landed in a field inside the base. Stanonis said the pilot was still for a few moments but finally rose to his feet.
When the plane crashed, it shook all the windows in the building, Stanonis said. He pulled off the freeway and drove by the crash scene, he told FOX11.
"It looked like a bomb had gone off in the building," he said.
The freeway was closed in both directions after the crash, according to California Highway Patrol logs.
Images from the scene broadcast by local news agencies showed a hole in the roof of an industrial building next to the freeway where the jet apparently crashed. The building was loaded with pallets of boxes and other items. No smoke or fire was visible at the scene.
A photo from inside the building showed the wreckage buried in twisted metal and debris.
Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."
"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.
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President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.
"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"
The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.
"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."
U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur/Handout via REUTERS
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.
"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."