Early Wednesday morning, an F-16 fighter jet went down in Clinton, Maryland.
The DC National Guard F-16 jet was on a routine training mission when some sort of mechanical failure forced it down just 200 yards away from a residential development. The pilot guided his jet away from the residential neighborhood before bailing out.
The jet was carrying "training ordinance." While these rounds are not armor piercing like combat rounds, they are still considered live munitions. Sounds of gunfire were reported after the crash as the rounds onboard cooked-off from the heat.
A neighbor caught the pilot's ejection on cell phone video. You can see from the video just how close the crash was to the neighborhood.
The pilot's descent was also captured from another angle.
"For the pilot to be able to eject and not be injured and the plane to go down in a wooded area without affecting the homes, [we're] absolutely very fortunate that we didn't have any lives lost today," said Chief Ben Barksdale of the Prince George's County Fire Department.
Local residents rushed to the pilot to see if he needed help, but his only concern after landing was whether the jet had cleared the neighborhood. He was relieved to hear that the crashing plane had missed the nearby houses.
Military officials have the area locked down as they investigate the cause of the crash. Anyone who finds what they believe to be a piece of the F-16 is asked to leave it where it is and report the find to law enforcement.