Officials say they are investigating what caused two military jets to crash Wednesday, one a Marine Harrier jet that went into a neighborhood in Imperial County, the other a Navy jet that crashed off the Southern California coast.
Eight homes were evacuated after an 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.
Two homes caught fire but everyone inside escaped, said Imperial Fire Chief Tony Rouhotas. Three homes in the neighborhood were considered total losses.
The pilot ejected safely and was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
Imperial is a community of about 15,000 people between El Centro and Brawley.
Neighbors rushed to one home and made sure everyone had escaped, said Chelcey Adami, a reporter for the Imperial Valley Press.
Paramedics were on the scene but none of the neighborhood residents appeared to need treatment, Adami said.
Hours later, a Navy jet crashed off the Southern California coast during a predeployment training mission.
The F-A-18E Super Hornet crashed about 10 p.m. into the ocean while attempting a landing aboard the carrier Carl Vinson.
The pilot ejected safely and was recovered. The plane "has not been recovered," the Navy said.
The plane was based at Naval Air Station in Oceana, Va.
All other airborne aircraft were diverted to Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado and air operations aboard the Vinson were suspended.
The cause of that crash also remains under investigation.
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