F-16 fighter jet that crashed into warehouse had live ammunition

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An F-16 fighter jet crashed into a warehouse in Perris, California, after the pilot ejected, reportedly injuring five people on the ground.

Posted: May 18, 2019 8:20 AM
Updated: May 18, 2019 8:20 AM

The F-16 fighter jet that crashed into a California warehouse was carrying live ammunition, officials said Friday.

Col. Tom McNamara, the vice commander of the 452nd Air Mobility Wing at March Air Reserve Base in Perris, said the specifics of the armament package wouldn't be discussed due to security reasons.

An Air Force fact sheet on the F-16 states the armament could include a cannon with 500 rounds and missiles.

The package was secured and will be properly disposed of, McNamara said.

Base spokesman Reggie Varner said the F-16 had a hydraulic failure that led to the crash Thursday at a warehouse near the base.

The crash left 13 people injured, said Dr. Michael Mesisca with Riverside Health System. Three people remain in the hospital and are stable, said trauma surgeon Dr. Megan Brenner. No one sustained life-threatening injuries.

The pilot of the F-16 ejected before impact just off the end of the runway, Maj. Perry Covington said. The pilot was taken to a hospital to be checked out but has no major injuries, said base spokesman Reggie Varner. The pilot is doing well, but hospital representatives refused to say whether he is among the three people who are still hospitalized.

Some patients went through a decontamination process because of fume exposure and debris, Mesisca said.

Mike Johnson, the CEO of the company located in the warehouse, confirmed all employees at the warehouse were safe.

"Thank God everyone is safe and OK," Johnson said in a statement to CNN. "We'll have to see what this means for the company, but right now our concern is with our employees and their families."

The warehouse is owned by See Water, Inc. The company offers products and solutions to HVAC, commercial, residential, utility and wastewater industries.

Perris is located south of San Bernardino.

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