F-16 and Cessna collide, crash near S.C. highway

Jul 7, 2015 3:06 PM by News Staff, Photo: MY RAMSEY DYE/FACEBOOK VIA WCSC-TV

BERKELEY COUNTY, South Carolina - An F-16 fighter jet and a Cessna aircraft crashed near a South Carolina highway in Berkeley County on Tuesday morning, officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the fighter jet collided with a Cessna C150 around 11 a.m. The collision happened about 11 miles north of Charleston.

Officials have offered few details of the incident, including the number of injuries and their severity. Several media outlets report locals calling in with reports of seeing a fireball in the sky at the time of the incident.

Berkeley County Fire confirmed to CBS affiliate WCSC in Charleston that the fuselage of the Cessna has been located and a rescue swimmer has been sent in to search for the pilot. They say the Coast Guard is assisting.

Officials told WCSC the F-16 pilot was rescued by person in a pick-up truck. The pilot was being transported to Joint Base Charleston for observation, an Air Force spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for Shaw Air Force Base, which is relatively near the crash site, confirmed via Facebook that the jet was one of their F-16 C fighting falcons.

Concerns of toxic flames coming from the plane have been expressed by officials. A witness told WCSC the crash was in a rice field about 100 feet from land, very close to the historic Lewisfield plantation home.

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