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Marine Harrier Jet Crashes in Arizona

June 15, 2005

PHOENIX (AP) _ A Marine Harrier jet carrying live ordnance crashed in a residential neighborhood Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. There were no reports of injuries and the pilot ejected safely.

``We have no reports of any deaths or injuries, and we’re hoping that holds,″ said Yuma police Lt. Mike Erfert.

The jet landed between two residences, said Steve Legros, a spokesman with the Yuma Fire Department.

Because the jet was carrying live ordnance, a one-square-mile area was evacuated and a military explosives disposal team was on the scene, Legros said.

The pilot was the only person on board, said Legros. The pilot was taken to a Yuma hospital for treatment, but the injuries weren’t considered life-threatening, Legros said.

``He is talking with people, that I know,″ Erfert said of the pilot.

Marine Lt. Beatriz Yarrish, a spokeswoman at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, confirmed that the jet went down but said she had no further information on the crash.

The AV-8B Harrier, a light attack aircraft that can land vertically like a helicopter, was the fourth such jet from the Yuma air station to crash in recent years.

The last time a Harrier crashed in Yuma was on Dec. 2. In that case, the pilot also ejected safely. Another two crashed in December 2003; the pilots in those incidents also ejected safely.

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