Huffington Post | December 8, 2008 03:36 PM
***UPDATE*** 7:08PM AP reports that two people have died in the crash of the F-18 jet in San Diego:
A military fighter jet preparing to land at a Marine base crashed in a densely populated San Diego neighborhood Monday, killing two people on the ground and destroying three houses.
The pilot of the F/A-18D Hornet jet ejected safely, according to a statement from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
Mayor Jerry Sanders said two people on the ground were killed. Fire officials said the deaths were at a home where two children, a mother and a grandmother were believed to be inside. Officials did not immediately know who died.
Three homes were destroyed, Fire Department spokesman Maurice Luque said. Firefighters were hosing down a pile of rubble 3 1/2 hours after the crash with smoke still rising from it.
About 20 homes were evacuated, and it was unclear when residents would be allowed to return, Sanders said.
The plane crashed near Interstate 805 shortly before noon Monday about two miles from the base, said Ian Gregor, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.
The pilot was in stable condition at a naval hospital in San Diego, said Miramar spokeswoman 1st Lt. Katheryn Putnam. The crash occurred as the pilot was returning from training on the carrier USS Lincoln, off the San Diego coast.