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Military jet crashes in California neighborhood

By Steve Almasy, CNN
updated 6:54 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Harrier had no missiles when it crashed Wednesday afternoon
  • NEW: Pilot was on a training flight
  • Cause of the accident has not been determined

(CNN) -- A Marines jet on a training flight crashed Wednesday afternoon in a neighborhood in Imperial, California, the military service said in a statement.

Two homes were destroyed, one was severely damaged and eight were evacuated -- but there were no reports of civilian injuries, officials said. Authorities told five families late Wednesday they could return to their homes.

The pilot, who took off in an AV-8B Harrier with no missiles from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona, ejected safely and suffered only minor injuries, the Marines said. He was treated and released from a hospital.

The jet crashed about 4:20 p.m. PT in Imperial, about 115 miles east of San Diego.

Authorities are investigating the cause. The Marines sent a special team to clean up fuel and other hazardous materials.

"I heard like a pop and a whistle. And right when I looked up is when I saw the pilot eject," Shaun Penniman told CNN affiliate KGTV.

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CNN's Mayra Cuevas and Greg Morrison contributed to this report.

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