A U.S. Navy plane crashed into a house in Alabama on Friday killing two people onboard, according to authorities. The crash happened at a "heavily populated" residential area in the southeast of Mobile, near Foley city, said Foley Fire Chief Joey Darby.
The training plane T-6B Texan II departed from Florida's Naval Air Station Whiting Field near Pensacola. The two deceased people were the only members of the crew onboard. Their identities were not released pending notification to their families, the authorities said.
Foley Fire Chief Darby said firefighters had to contain a "large volume of fire" that engulfed the house and several cars in the area. Rescuers were able to make "a quick stop on the fire," the chief reportedly said. No injuries on the ground were reported.
Video footage of the crash showed thick air of smoke emanating from the site surrounded by houses. James Farris, who is a resident of the neighborhood, told The New York Times that he saw the plane nose-dive into the ground.
"It sounded like the Blue Angels," he reportedly said, referring to the group of Navy aircraft involved in aerial performances. "It was flying really low."
"At impact, it exploded," he told the Times, adding that the crash led to a "big ball of flame" toward the house that caught on fire. "When the fuel exploded, it went forward into that house."
Farris also said that a father and a daughter narrowly escaped from the house was on fire. The U.S. Department of Defense and the Navy would investigate the crash, according to the Baldwin County Sheriff's Office.
T-6B Texan II
A T-6B Texan II aircraft's primary mission is to train Navy and Marine Corps pilots. This model is an upgraded variant of the T-6A Texan II, according to the Navy's website.
"There are currently 245 Navy T-6Bs serving the Chief of Naval Air Training at NAS Whiting Field and NAS Corpus Christi, Texas. Six additional T-6B aircraft are stationed at the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School in NAS Patuxent River, Maryland," the website stated.