An investigation has been launched into the cause of a mid-air crash between a Marine Corps fighter jet and another plane in a remote part of Southern California earlier this week.
According to the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona, the collision occurred on Tuesday afternoon as the F-35B jet swiped a Lockheed Martin KC-130J tanker around 4:00pm.
A statement from the station said the jet pilot “ejected successfully and is currently being treated” and that no other injuries were reported.
There were a reported eight crew members on board at the time of the collision, though none were injured.
The four-engine turboprop tanker landed in Thermal, a small desert city in Riverside County about 125 miles (200 kilometres) northeast of downtown San Diego, California.
#BREAKING A plane made an emergency landing in a farm field in Thermal just East if the airport. Early reports of 8 on board. It reportedly clipped another plane mid-air. We are live in scene wirh the early details. @KESQ pic.twitter.com/b4rDWJgoat
— Jake Ingrassia (@JakeKESQ) September 30, 2020
Photos from the scene posted online by KMIR showed a military plane on its belly in a farm field near Thermal Airport.
It was not immediately clear why the Marine fighter jet was flying in the region, whether it be a routine mission or training exercise.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation as of Wednesday.
A local CBS affiliate reported from the scene of the crash on Tuesday, showing the KC-130J tanker with missing propellers and leaking fuel.
The plane reportedly made the emergency landing in the farm field close to the airport after it clipped the other plane, according to KESQ-TV.
Additional reporting by Associated Press