F-35 crashes at Air Force base in Utah; pilot ejected safely

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — An F-35 fighter jet crashed Wednesday at an Air Force base in Utah, officials said, adding that the pilot ejected and was taken to a hospital for observation.

The 388th Fighter Wing said on its Twitter account that the F-35 A Lightning II crashed at the north end of the Hill Air Force Base runway. It said the cause of the crash was unknown and would be investigated.

The 388th Fighter Wing said emergency crews both on and off the base responded to the crash.

Brock Thurgood said the pilot landed near his property near the base, KSL.com reported. Thurgood said the pilot was “walking and he was coherent,” but noted his hands were “bloodied up and he was a little banged up.”

“I don’t know how I’d be after I was in a plane crash but he was surprisingly tough,” Thurgood said.

Hill Air Force Base is located about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City.

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