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Navy Jet Crashes Into Va. Apartment Complex

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on April 06, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Navy fighter jet crashed into a Virginia apartment complex Friday, sending two pilots and five civilians to the hospital, WWBT-TV reports. There are no reports of deaths or missing people, rescuers said.

The F/A-18 fighter jet slammed into a cluster of apartment buildings in Virginia Beach about 12:05 p.m., shortly after it took off from a naval air station nearby, MSNBC reports. Both crew members ejected before impact.

A volunteer rescuer said he found one of the Navy crew members still strapped to his ejection seat. "I'm so sorry I crashed into your building," the crewman said, according to Reuters' report of the rescuer's account.

The Navy jet crash sparked a huge fireball that caused heavy damage to five apartment buildings, a fire chief said.

As the victims are treated for their injuries, a military investigation will likely commence into what caused the crash. The probe will probably look into the plane's maintenance records and possible mechanical defects.

A probe will also consider whether the military was at fault in the crash -- perhaps through pilot error. That's what happened after a Marine jet crashed into a San Diego home in 2008, killing a woman, her mother, and her two daughters, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The woman's husband sued the military for wrongful death. The husband won a $10 million award to cover economic damages -- how much money the family lost in wages and property -- along with emotional distress and the loss of companionship of his relatives.

The woman's father also got $4 million, while the woman's three siblings split an additional $4 million.

In Friday's Navy jet crash in Virginia, the injured civilians will also likely file claims or lawsuits to seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and lost property. Residents whose apartments were damaged or destroyed will probably file suit as well. Stay tuned.

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