Two Navy pilots have been killed after their jet crashed on a training mission off the coast of Key West, Florida. Video of the crash site is included below.
UPDATE: We now know the name of one of the Navy pilots. WFTV reports that one of the lost is 30-year-old Caleb King from Central Florida.
His father, Darrell King, said he and his family are devastated about the loss. “I thank the Navy for making him the man that he was. I also give credit to some of his youth football coaches, teachers and school,” he said.
King described his son as a very modest, quiet, talented, and hard-working man. He was a star football player at Warner Christian Academy and then played ball at the Naval Academy.
King and his co-pilot went down in their F/A-18F Super Hornet during training on Wednesday evening. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
A Navy fighter jet on a training flight crashed Wednesday afternoon off the coast of Key West, Florida, killing both crew members, the Navy said.
The identities of the victims were withheld until their families could be notified.
They ejected around 4:30 p.m. ET from the F/A-18F Super Hornet, attached to Strike Fighter Squadron 213 at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia, but they were declared dead at Lower Keys Medical Center, the Navy said.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office told NBC Miami that it dispatched units but that the Navy said it had the situation under control and didn’t need assistance.
Witnesses to the crash told the Florida Keys News that they saw what looked like an explosion.
“I saw the fire and then it just dropped,” said Barbie Wilson, who described the jet bursting into flames. “In the air, I saw fire.”
Key West is part of the Florida Keys archipelago and the southernmost point in the state. It is located about 90 miles north of Cuba.
NAS Oceana is one of only three Navy master jet bases, which are home to carrier-based tactical jet squadrons and carrier air wings.
Trump tweeted that he was praying for the families of the victims.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation Thursday.
ABC News reports on the crash.