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A military aircraft purportedly carrying “nuclear material” has crashed in Imperial County, CA, about 30 miles north of the Mexican border. Five people were aboard, and officials believe that all five were killed in the crash.
At 1:32 Pacific time, Naval Air Base El Centro announced that they’d “just received reports of a downed aircraft in the vicinity of Coachella Canal Road and the 78 [California Highway 78].”
In the Facebook post, base officials further said:
Installation Federal Fire, and Imperial County Fire Department are responding, We have no additional details at this time. As facts become verified and available, information will be released on the base’s Facebook page. Please be patient as the installation team works through this emergency.
That area is just east of El Centro, and immediately adjacent to the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness, which includes the Imperial Sand Hills National Natural Landmark.
San Diego-based aerial reporter Malik Earnest was one of the first to report
A military aircraft crashed in the Imperial County area of California, according to local reports. Preliminary reports indicate the aircraft was loaded with nuclear material with at least 5 people aboard. Rescue efforts and an investigation are underway.
— Malik Earnest (@MalikEarnest) June 8, 2022
By 1:57 Pacific, Earnest updated his report:
Imperial County officials are assuming all five people aboard a crashed military aircraft near Highway 78 are deceased. It’s unknown what caused the aircraft to crash at this time. Additional details about nuclear material aboard are not known. The military now has the scene.
(This is a breaking story. Updates will be provided as they become available.)