Officials: Marine Harrier jet crashes south of Valley

SACATON, AZ - Authorities say a military aircraft crashed south of Phoenix, Arizona Friday afternoon.

The Marine aircraft reportedly went down north of Maricopa on the Gila River Indian Community Reservation.

According to an official at the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, the pilot was able to eject safely before the AV-8B Harrier crashed.

Gunnery Sgt. Dunk told ABC15 the jet went down in an unpopulated area around 2:25 p.m. The jet and pilot are based in Yuma.

A Gila River Indian Community official says the pilot was uninjured except for a cut on the nose. The pilot was found by Gila River police about 2 miles southwest of the crash site.

Spokesman Mikhail Sundust said the aircraft experienced engine trouble. The jet went down near Vah Ki and Wetcamp roads, he said.

Air15 video showed the aircraft in pieces and completely burned out. It was seen smoldering in the desert area with a long burn track from the crash.

A 1.5 mile perimeter has been set up around the site to make sure it's safe. A Gila River Fire Department has a hazardous materials team on standby.

The Department of Emergency Services is on the way to investigate and the FAA will also be involved in the investigation.

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