An F-16 aircraft with the 162nd Wing Arizona Air National Guard crashed near Mexico border during a training mission on Wednesday, sparking a major bush fire, following which a few local residents had to be evacuated.
In an official statement on Facebook , the 162nd Wing said that the single F-16 Fighting Falcon was on a night training mission when it crashed 5 miles east of Douglas Municipal Airport around 8 pm (local time).
There was only one person in the plane during the crash. "The status of the pilot is unknown at this time," the statement from 162nd Wing noted. It also said that a board will be appointed to investigate the cause of the crash.
Douglas Fire Department's Lt Matt King told NBC News that the crash sparked a bush fire in the area.
Images from the crash site released on social media show a massive fire in the area. With the bush fire spreading rapidly, one house close to the crash site had to be evacuated, Russia Today reported.
Local residents told Tucson News Now that the plane turned into a fireball. The crash reportedly took place near a gas pipeline.
Witness Raymond Candell told the local news source that he saw "fireball explosions" that "lit up the night sky like daylight".
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