U.S. Marine F/A-18 Jet Explodes, Crashes near RAF Airbase in England

 In Breaking News, Military

Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England- A U.S. Marine F/A-18 Hornet crashed shortly after takeoff about 5 miles north of the the Royal Air Force base at Lakenheath, England. The Marine pilot perished in the accident.

“A military aircraft which had taken off from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk came down at about 10.30 a.m. (0930 GMT). We can confirm one fatality and believe there was just one person on board the aircraft.” Police spokeswoman

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Twitter photo of crash area

The plane took off from the RAF base, and crashed on farmland near an area called Redmere. A witness stated that it appeared as though the jet “exploded in mid-air,” though another witness said she thought she saw the pilot eject. A parachute was found at the scene, and the pilot is thought to have died as it deployed.

The U.S. Embassy in London also confirmed the death of the pilot. The F/A-18 was said to be one of six planes headed back to the United States when it crashed.

The Marine Corps reported:

A III Marine Aircraft Wing F/A-18C Hornet belonging to Marine Attack Fighter Squadron 232 stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California crashed in the vicinity of Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England at approximately 5:30 a.m. (EST), today.

Detail are sketchy at this point, but USMC promised to update the information when it becomes available.

Lakenheath is England’s largest USAF operated air base. It is home to 4,500 active duty military from the RAF, USAF, and 2,000 civilians from both Britain and the U.S..

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