An F-16 Fighting Falcon carrying military ordnance crashed into a warehouse just west of March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley Thursday while departing the airfield, where the pilot safely ejected before his plane went down.
At least one person was injured on the ground and was taken to Riverside University Medical Center in unknown condition.
The crash was reported about 3:45 p.m. on Opportunity Way, near Meridian Parkway, in the Arnold Heights neighborhood just off of Interstate 215, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
A battalion chief confirmed that the F-16 was carrying ordinance, prompting a hazardous materials response. The entire neighborhood was cordoned off, and occupants of neighboring buildings were ordered to shelter in place.
The California Highway Patrol shut down southbound I-215 for public safety, in case of explosions.
The F-16 pancaked onto the roof of the 500,000-square-foot building, causing a fire that triggered the on-site sprinkler system, containing the flames, according to reports from the scene.
The structure is stacked with plastic pipes, aluminum awnings and other construction material, according to the CHP, which was first to the scene.
March is home to the 452nd Air Mobility Wing, an Air Force Reserve component that utilizes mammoth C-17 transports, KC-135 refueling aircraft and C-130 transports.
Fighter jets are a rare sight at the base.
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