Update Mar 15, 2018 12:43 AM EDT: President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Thursday to express his condolences after two aviators died in a Navy jet crash.
"Please join me with your thoughts and prayers for both aviators, their families and our incredible @USNavy," he tweeted.
Please join me with your thoughts and prayers for both aviators, their families and our incredible @USNavy. https://t.co/60bHhrp8Y1— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2018
ORIGINAL STORY: A Navy F-18 fighter jet crashed on approach to the Naval Air Station Key West in the waters off Key West, Fla., Wednesday afternoon killing two, the Navy said on Twitter.
The crash occurred during a training flight.
Rescue crews initially recovered both aviators from the water and transported them to the Lower Keys Medical Center, but the Navy later tweeted that the flyers did not survive.
An F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-213 crashed on approach to Boca @NASKeyWest this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. Rescue crews recovered both aviators from the water; they were taken by ambulance to Lower Keys Medical Center. The jet was on a training flight; cause under investigation.— flynavy (@flynavy) March 14, 2018
“We are sad to report that both aviators have been declared deceased. Their families are in our prayers,” the Navy said on Twitter.
UPDATE: We are sad to report that both aviators have been declared deceased. Their families are in our prayers. Per policy, we will withhold notification pending NOK notification.— flynavy (@flynavy) March 15, 2018
The F-18 crew was based out of the U.S. Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach and was on a final approach to Boca Chica Field when the crash happened.
Witnesses reported what appeared to be a mid-air explosion, according to the Florida Keys News.
"I saw the fire and then it just dropped," Barbie Wilson told the news outlets.
Wilson said the plane seemed to turn on its side before bursting into flames.
“In the air, I saw fire,” she said.
There’s not word on exactly what caused the crash, but the Navy is investigating.
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