Marine Corps To Help Families Displaced By Crash - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Marine Corps To Help Families Displaced By Crash

Posted: Updated:
PHOTO:  Facebook/Nadia Arredondo PHOTO: Facebook/Nadia Arredondo
IMPERIAL, Calif. -

The Marine Corps was cleaning up a Southern California neighborhood on Thursday and working to help families whose homes were damaged or destroyed by one of its jets that crashed in the small desert city of Imperial, officials said.

The Harrier AV-8B had taken off from the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma and was almost at his destination at Naval Air Facility El Centro when it went down Wednesday afternoon, exploding into flames. The pilot who was ejected landed in a nearby field and suffered only scrapes and bruises. There were no injuries in the neighborhood.

Two homes were destroyed and a third suffered major damage in a newer neighborhood of Imperial, a city of about 15,000 people about 90 miles east of San Diego.

Two of the families went to stay with friends or relatives while the Red Cross put up one couple in a hotel. Officials were assessing whether any of the families would need longer term help, such as rental assistance or other items, said Red Cross spokeswoman Courtney Pendleton.

Marine Capt. Anton Semelroth said the military was working with city and Red Cross officials.

"We've reached out to folks to make sure they're being taken care of now and will continue to work with them to make sure we are doing the right thing," Semelroth said.

Marine Corps officials were cleaning up the crash site and had launched an investigation, Semelroth said. However, it could take months to determine whether human error, a mechanical failure or some other reason caused the jet to crash.

Eleven-year-old Christopher Garcia was watching TV with his father and brother when he heard a frightening boom. Outside, he said, he saw a pilot in a parachute falling from the sky and what looked like a mushroom cloud of dark smoke two blocks away. He ran to the crash scene to find one house with a collapsed roof, the neighboring house on fire, and a crying woman shouting, "'That's my house!'" The boy and other witnesses said panicked neighbors were running in every direction.

Debris from the Harrier jet hit the roof of one of the houses, which was destroyed, Marine Lt Col John Ferguson said.

It was the second crash in a month of a Harrier jet from the Yuma air base.

On May 9, a pilot was able to eject safely before his jet crashed in a remote desert area near the Gila River Indian Community, south of Phoenix. No one was injured.

In July 2012, another AV-8B Harrier crashed in an unpopulated area 15 miles from the air base, which is among the busiest in the world for the Marine Corps, and is used it to train military aviators from around the nation.

"Every time we take off, safety is our biggest concern," Semelroth said. "I'm sure after the previous mishaps we've got a better process now and will take this investigation and do the same thing. We constantly try to improve the process and make it safer."

A few hours after the jet crashed in Imperial, a Navy Hornet went into the sea off San Diego as it prepared to make a late-night landing on an aircraft carrier. The pilot was ejected and listed in stable condition.

___

Hamilton reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writers Bob Jablon and Andrew Dalton also contributed to this report from Los Angeles, and Julie Watson from San Diego.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:51:52 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.>>
  • 10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    10 Cheapest Houses For Sale In Spokane

    Wednesday, November 27 2013 2:35 AM EST2013-11-27 07:35:08 GMT
    Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Whether you are in the market for an affordable place to live or are in the business of flipping houses, here are the 10 cheapest homes for sale in Spokane according to AllSpokaneHomes.com. Yes, they all need some work and some need a lot more than others, but when your mortgage payment is around the $200/month range there's at least something to stay positive about.>>
  • Deputies searching for man after attempted child luring in Post Falls

    Deputies searching for man after attempted child luring in Post Falls

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:54:23 GMT
    KHQ.COM- The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office needs your help tracking down a man who tried to lure a young child away from their home. Deputies said the enticing attempt happened around 4 p.m. Tuesday in Post Falls.According to the sheriff's office, a man approached a 6-year-old child that was playing in the driveway of a home near S. Pine Ct. The man tried to lure the child away by asking for help looking for lost kittens, and the child's grandmother says the man briefly followed the child ...>>
    KHQ.COM- The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office needs your help tracking down a man who tried to lure a young child away from their home. Deputies said the enticing attempt happened around 4 p.m. Tuesday in Post Falls.According to the sheriff's office, a man approached a 6-year-old child that was playing in the driveway of a home near S. Pine Ct. The man tried to lure the child away by asking for help looking for lost kittens, and the child's grandmother says the man briefly followed the child ...>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Severe thunderstorms roll through the Inland Northwest

    Severe thunderstorms roll through the Inland Northwest

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:44 PM EDT2014-07-23 23:44:57 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Severe thunderstorms moving through the area have caused numerous power outages, downed trees and power lines, and heavy wind, rain and hail.KHQ has team coverage tonight on these storms at 5 and 6.If you are in the area and can safely take a picture, please send them to pix@khq.com>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Severe thunderstorms moving through the area have caused numerous power outages, downed trees and power lines, and heavy wind, rain and hail.KHQ has team coverage tonight on these storms at 5 and 6.If you are in the area and can safely take a picture, please send them to pix@khq.com>>
  • Helicopter Crash in Wenatchee

    Helicopter Crash in Wenatchee

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:16 PM EDT2014-07-23 23:16:03 GMT
    CHELAN COUNTY, Wash. - A helicopter crashed in Wenatchee on Wednesday.Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration in Renton says the crash occurred on Wednesday in Wenatchee for unknown reasons.>>
    CHELAN COUNTY, Wash. - A helicopter crashed in Wenatchee on Wednesday.Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration in Renton says the crash occurred on Wednesday in Wenatchee for unknown reasons. He says the helicopter was a Bell 206A Jet Ranger.

    >>
  • FLASH FLOOD WARNING for fire damaged areas

    FLASH FLOOD WARNING for fire damaged areas

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:41:18 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Potential afternoon thunderstorms expected Wednesday are a concern for the Carlton Complex fire because of the possibility of heavy rain and lightning strikes. Even a moderate 10-minute rain can cause flooding, debris flows, and landslides. >>>Flash Flood Warning Has Been Issued>>>>>
    KHQ.COM - Potential afternoon thunderstorms expected Wednesday are a concern for the Carlton Complex fire because of the possibility of heavy rain and lightning strikes. Even a moderate 10-minute rain can cause flooding, debris flows, and landslides. >>>Flash Flood Warning Has Been Issued>>>
    >>