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Work continues on site of F-16 crash near March Air Reserve Base

As an Amazon Prime Air cargo jet takes off from March Air Reserve Base, a  Riverside County sheriff’s deputy blocks Opportunity Way on May 18, 2019, near the site of the May 16 crash of an F-16. (Brian Rokos, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Activity continued Saturday, May 18, on the Riverside-area street where an F-16 crashed Thursday , with no announcement of when the jet would be removed from the area.
People in government vehicles came and went through Riverside County sheriff’s roadblocks on Opportunity Way. Sightseers looked in, as well. Drivers were allowed to enter and leave the Opportunity Way gate of Sysco, which distributes food and other products and is near the crash site.
About midday, a sheriff’s deputy discussing the closure with a man, said “It could be an hour, it could be 10 hours. We don’t know.”
An airman who later talked with the deputy said he didn’t know when the plane would be moved. The March Air Reserve Base public affairs office did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
In an image provided by March Air Reserve Base, missiles taken from a crashed F-16 are detonated at Ben Clark Training Center on May 17, 2019. (Courtesy of March Air Reserve Base)
 
A witness to the crash, Dan Cupido, said he overheard the pilot on the March tower radio frequency declaring an emergency because of hydraulics problems that can cause a loss of control of an aircraft. The pilot circled to burn off fuel before he ejected, Cupido said he heard.
That could explain the lack of a fire when the plane crashed into See Water and Bous Performance about 3:45 p.m. Thursday . Fire officials initially believed that the building’s sprinkler system doused a small fire, but Cal Fire Unit Chief Shawn Newman clarified Friday that there was no fire, and that there was a flood inside the shared building because a water pipe was severed.
Thirteen people, including the pilot, were hospitalized with minor injuries. Others, including six sheriff’s deputies, were treated at the scene for exposure to debris.
The cause of the crash was under investigation.
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