An F-35 fighter jet crashed at an Air Force installation in Utah on Wednesday night, but the pilot walked away unharmed.
The incident happened at Hill Air Force Base around 6:15 p.m. local time, according to Col. Craig Andrle, commander of the 388th Fighter Wing, who gave a news conference on Wednesday night.
Andrle said that it happened while the pilot was making his way home from a regular training mission on a runway’s northern end. After safely exiting the aircraft, the pilot was brought to a hospital for observation.
“Tonight, first and foremost, we’re thankful that he’s OK, he got out of the aircraft,” Andrle said.
According to Andrle, nobody on the ground was wounded. Unknown factors could have caused the accident.
The incident allegedly started an 8 to 10-acre brush fire on Defense Department grounds, according to Utah state fire officials. State fire officials tweeted that numerous fire agencies intervened and were successful in putting out the fire. Crews had to fight the fire for almost an hour, according to Andrle.
Spencer Cox, the governor of Utah, stated that his administration was in touch with the Air Force facility and that it was “pray[ing] for the safety of the pilot and first responders and will continue to monitor the situation.”
About 30 miles north of Salt Lake City is where you will find Hill Air Force Base.