RIVERSIDE: F-16 Fighter Jet Crashes Into Business

On Thursday afternoon, May 16, 2019, Cal Fire / Riverside County Fire along with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, AMR, the City of Riverside Fire Department and emergency crews from March Air Reserve Base responded to an F-16 fighter jet which crashed into a large commercial building. The incident occurred around 3:40pm at See Water Inc. in the 22200 block of Opportunity Way. The first arriving engine company reported a military fighter jet had crashed through the roof of the business leaving a massive hole in the roof. Initial reports indicated the fighter just had live ordinance on board which forced the evacuation of several businesses and closed the northbound and southbound lanes of the 215 Freeway. According to authorities, the impact caused a small fire to break out, however, the fire was held in check by the buildings fire sprinkler system. The pilot of the F-16 was able to eject and safely land on the north end of the runway at March Air Reserve Base. According to Cal Fire / Riverside County Fire, at least 12 people were injured and treated at the scene before being transported to area hospitals. None of the injuries were life threatening. As to what went wrong with the F-16 causing the pilot to eject and the jet to crash remains under investigation. Several streets as well as the 215 Freeway were expected to remain closed until crews could deem the area safe. No further information was immediately available.