After eyewitnesses came forward with accounts of an explosion and loss of power just prior to the crash of an F-18 fighter jet into an apartment building in Virginia, the Navy said a "catastrophic" system failure was the likely cause of the accident that injured four people. NBC's Thanh Truong and Jim Miklaszewski reports.
The people left homeless when an 12-ton F/A 18 Navy fighter jet crashed into their Virginia Beach apartment complex began receiving emergency relief money on Monday.
Navy officials earlier said in a statement that initial payments to the residents would begin at $2,300. Some residents told NBC affiliate WAVY-TV that they provided the Navy with banking information so money could be directly deposited into their bank accounts.
Five residents were injured when the jet from nearby Naval Air Station Oceana crashed into the Mayfair Mews Apartments on Friday. No one died in what Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessions and Navy Adm. John Harvey Jr., head called a Good Friday "miracle." Several buildings were destroyed and others partially damaged.
The Navy pilots safely ejected before the crash but also suffered injuries.
Fire officials have said that some 60 residents were without homes due to the crash. The Navy is paying for the residents to stay in hotels while they make arrangements to find a new place to say, WAVY reported on its website.
Over the weekend, residents were given limited access to safe areas of the apartment complex to retrieve their belongings. They were allowed to pick their vehicles on Monday morning.
"We are committed to doing the right thing to address the needs of these families, who through no fault of their own have endured an incredible hardship," Reuters quoted Rear Adm. Tim Alexander, commander of the Navy's Mid-Atlantic region, as saying.
The Navy has also established a call center to assist residents affected by the crash.
According to the Navy, the F/A 18 sustained a "catastrophic mechanical malfunction" during a training flight. The case is still under investigation.
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