At an afternoon press conference, Admiral John C. Harvey spoke to the media about the jet that crashed into the Mayfair Mews apartment complex in Virginia Beach early Friday afternoon.
While he wanted to thank emergency crews directly, he also wanted to thank the citizens of Virginia Beach who stepped in and helped emergency responders.
“It was citizens that dragged our aircrew to safety out of the fire zone, it was citizens who stepped up and help move those hoses, it was citizens who evacuated the inhabitants of the apartment complex, who got that going and saved them from the fire. It was a pretty amazing display in Virginia Beach of what citizenship really means,” Harvey said.
The investigation will take weeks, according to Admiral Harvey, as the Navy and aircraft experts comb through the wreckage. He says now that the city has control of the site, Navy crews will start going through the wreckage piece by piece and moving it to a hangar at Naval Air Station Oceana.
He also praised the aircrew on their efforts, staying with the aircraft until the last possible moment before ejecting to minimize damage.
Residents in the apartment complex are being assisted by the fire department in getting any essentials such as medications left in their home, but they will not be allowed back in permanently for some time.
The Secretary of the Navy has released emergency funds for people who lost their possessions. According to the Navy, as residents file their claims with representatives from Washington, the funds will be immediately available to them through their bank accounts.
After the crash, all air traffic at Oceana was shut down. Early Saturday morning, flight operations resumed to receive aircraft that were diverted Friday and to release aircraft that were slated to leave NAS Oceana for other destinations. All remaining air operations for Saturday and Sunday will be suspended. Admiral Harvey said it will be business as usual on Monday.
Any residents displaced by the crash can meet with Navy officials this afternoon starting at 2:30 at the Law Enforcement Training Academy at 411 Integrity Way in Virginia Beach.