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Military: Air force jet crashes in Virginia


DEERFIELD (AP): An Air Force jet crashed in the mountains of western Virginia on Wednesday, shaking the ground and frightening residents and officials said the pilot's status was unknown.

No injuries were reported on the ground, but authorities were still trying to reach the crash site located through its heavy smoke coming from a mountainside on Wednesday.

The pilot of the single-seat aircraft was with the 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard in Westfield, spokesman Maj. Matthew Mutti said.

The jet was on a standard training exercise with no munitions onboard, Mutti said. He didn't say where it was headed or release the pilot's name.

Military officials in Washington told local authorities in Augusta County that they had lost communication with a jet, according to Augusta County dispatcher Becky Coynter.

She said witnesses reported an explosion-like noise just before 9 am. "It's the loudest noise I've ever heard," 63-year-old Rebecca Shinaberry, who lives on a farm about 2 miles (3 kilometers) away, told The Associated Press. "(It) just shook the ground and from my house we could just see a big plume of smoke."

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