A United States Air Force F-15 jet has crashed next to a Lincolnshire school.
The military aircraft crashed in a field next to a school and houses in Weston Hills, near Spalding in Lincolnshire.
Witnesses saw the aircraft land at about 3.30pm this afternoon, fire belched from the downed jet and the school carried out an emergency evacuation.
It is believed the pilot ejected from the aircraft and miraculously escaped with only minor injuries.
The US Air Force issued a statement confirmed the jet was part of the 48th Fighter Wing which is based at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk; they also confirmed that the jet had crashed during a combat training exercise. RAF Lakenheath tweeted: “We can confirm that one of our jets went down north of the base, in Lincolnshire. The pilot ejected and is safe.”
One witness, Shaun Gough, who has twin five year-old daughters at Weston Hills Church of England Primary School reported that part of the wing had landed in a nearby field only 400 yards from the school:
“It was coming down from the sky backwards like it was out of control in a spin. There were two aircraft which had been circling around most the afternoon and there was a roar, then silence, which made us look across.
“I was watching when it came down back end first, and when you’re standing watching it come down close to your daughters’ school it’s pretty horrendous. When my wife went to the school to pick up my daughter she said the black smoke was blowing across the car park and into the school. I’ve seen a Sea King helicopter land and pick somebody up. I’m guessing it’s the pilot.”
Police are advising people to avoid the area due to the possibility of hazardous fumes emanating from the fire. The crash will be investigated.