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Search on for pilot after Navy jet crashes in Death Valley

Posted at 9:36 PM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 00:36:55-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Crews are searching for the pilot of a Navy fighter jet that crashed and exploded in California’s Mojave Desert, injuring seven people on the ground.

Death Valley National Park spokesman Patrick Taylor said seven park visitors had minor injuries.

KABC-TV talked to tourists who said they were treated for minor burns and cuts after being hit by shrapnel.

There’s no word yet on the pilot of the F/A-18 Super Hornet, which went down during a Wednesday training mission.

The crash occurred near a park area nicknamed Star Wars Canyon, where fighter jets practice low-flying maneuvers and tourists watch.

The crash area is about 60 miles (96.5 kilometers) north of the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake.

The aircraft was from strike fighter squadron VFA-151 stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California’s Central Valley.

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Associated Press reporters Christopher Weber and John Antczak also contributed to this story.