Footage from the dashcam of a driver in California has captured the moment the pilot of an F-16 fighter jet ejected just seconds before the plane crashed into a warehouse.
The clip starts out filming traffic when suddenly, the out-of-control jet comes into frame from the top left corner. It can be seen plummeting to the ground before a cloud of smoke emerges as the pilot fires off the ejector seat. The plane appears to level itself out and continued to fly over a large motorway before slamming into a warehouse on the right of the street.
The pilot reportedly declared an emergency shortly before ejecting and landed safely at the airfield near Cactus Avenue and Meridian Parkway, Daily Mail reports.
A fire official says that it is a miracle that the jet did not explode or trigger a major blaze when it crashed through the roof of a 500,000 square-foot warehouse. What’s more, the plane was also armed with live ammunition.
Speaking at a news conference, officials indicated that the plane may have suffered a hydraulic failure.
“The NORAD alert aircraft was flying with a standard armament configuration as part of its Operation Noble Eagle commitments. Every effort is being made to ensure that the public’s safety is being met. Due to the nature of this type of an incident, the recovery process is extremely involved,” vice commander of the 452nd Air Mobility Wing at March Air Reserve Base, Col. Tom McNamara said.
The crash injured 13 people but no one sustained life-threatening injuries.