Officials provide update a day after F-16 fighter jet crashes in Riverside
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (FOX 11) - Three people were taken to the hospital and 10 others were treated and discharged in good condition following Thursday's F-16 crash near March Air Reserve Base, medical staff said Friday.
Health officials with the Riverside University Health System said in a Friday afternoon press briefing that the three patients taken to the hospital have non-life threatening injuries and are stable. They would not comment further out of privacy reasons but did acknowledge that some of those patients were first responders.
U.S. Air Force Col. McNamara, Vice Commander of the 452nd Air Mobility Wing based at March Air Reserve Base, was at the press briefing on Friday and confirmed the fighter jet was carrying a standard armament package, which crews worked carefully to recover after the wreck. They will be properly disposed of later in the day, he said.
California Highway Patrol Officer Steven Rusk said the 215 freeway from Cactus Avenue to Harley Knox Boulevard would remain closed until it was safe to reopen it.
At about 5 p.m., the 215 freeway between Cactus Avenue and Van Buren Boulevard reopened in both directions. Van Buren Boulevard also opened between Village West Drive and the 215 freeway. Meridian Parkway remained closed. Opportunity Way will be closed until further notice.
Officials said the evacuation zone around the crash site is 3/4 of a mile affecting dozens of nearby businesses.
The F-16 fighter jet crashed into a warehouse near the military base at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday. The pilot was the only person in the plane at the time and safely ejected before the plane crashed.
Authorities continue investigating the cause of the crash.