/Military Jet Crashes in Texas Backyard, Injuring 2 Pilots – The New York Times

Military Jet Crashes in Texas Backyard, Injuring 2 Pilots – The New York Times

A military training jet crashed into a backyard in Lake Worth, Texas, on Sunday, injuring the plane’s two pilots, damaging at least three homes and causing dozens of homes to lose power, officials said.

The pilots ejected themselves from the plane, and one pilot’s parachute was caught in power lines, the police said.

The pilots, who were not identified, were taken to nearby hospitals. Three residents were treated for minor injuries at the scene, the Fort Worth Fire Department said in a statement.

Lt. Michelle Tucker, a spokeswoman for the Chief of Naval Air Training, said one of the pilots was in serious condition and the other in stable condition.

“For a pilot, this is the day that you dread,” Chief J.T. Manoushagian of the Lake Worth Police Department said at a news conference on Sunday.

He said the cause of the crash was under investigation, and referred reporters to military officials at the nearby Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth.

The Chief of Naval Air Training said on Twitter that the pilots were conducting “a routine training flight” in a Navy T-45C Goshawk jet trainer aircraft.

The plane crashed into a backyard area, Ryan Arthur, chief of the Lake Worth Fire Department, said at the news conference. The Red Cross was helping the residents find a place to stay because of the damage to their homes, he added.

“It could have been a lot worse if it would have been a direct contact into a residence,” he said. “Fortunately, that’s not the case.”

At least 44 homes lost power because of the crash, the Fort Worth Fire Department said. Emergency crews were working to clear the area of wreckage from the crash, Chief Ryan added, warning people to stay away from the crash site.

“It’s going to be hazardous for now, until we get that debris cleared out,” he said.

Chief Arthur said that, given Lake Worth’s proximity to the military base, emergency crews had prepared for the possibility of a military crash in the area, calling the scenario “one of our highest priorities.”

“Other cities in Texas, it could be natural disasters such as tornadoes and even ice storms,” he said, “but for us it is a downed military aircraft since we are in such a unique position.”

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