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US Navy jet crashes in Virginia as 2 pilots eject

At least two people suffered injuries when an American Navy jet crashed into an apartment building in Virgina, according to Navy and media reports.

The Navy confirmed on its official Twitter account that both pilots ejected from the plane before the crash.

Bruce Nedelka, the Virginia Beach EMS division chief, said that witnesses saw fuel being dumped from the jet before it went down, and that fuel was found on buildings and vehicles in the area.

TV footage showed billowing black smoke from the ground. Three buildings were destroyed, and two more had significant damage, Virginia Beach fire department spokesman Tim Riley told WVEC-TV.

Officials say four others were taken to hospital. There has been no word on the severity of the injuries.

The pilots were being treated for injuries that were not considered life threatening.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk newspaper quoted a spokesman for Naval Air Force Atlantic who said the jet crashed in the sprawling resort city.

The area has a large concentration of military bases, including Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base.

Gov. Bob McDonnell said the state is providing immediate resources and assistance on the ground and working with Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms.

The same model of fighter jet, an F/A-18D, crashed in December 2008 while returning to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar after a training exercise in a San Diego neighbourhood. That crash killed four members of one family and destroyed two homes.