Residents who live near the Lake Worth home where a military training jet crashed into a yard Sunday described the confusion as they heard the explosion and their neighborhood plunged into darkness.
Two Navy pilots who were on a training flight ejected from the plane and were taken to local hospitals with serious injuries, authorities said. Three residents had minor injuries, and three homes were significantly damaged by debris from the crash.
By mid-afternoon, authorities still had the crash site off Tejas Trail and Dakota Trail blocked from traffic and media.
But neighbors near the edge of the boundary said they heard the crash Sunday morning.
Mary Joyner, whose mother lives near the crash site, said they were sitting at the kitchen table when they heard a “ba-boom.” In the same moment, the power went out.
Joyner said she assumed it was a blown transformer, and was confused when she saw people running down the street toward the source of the noise.
“That just wasn’t what I would’ve ever thought … an airplane crash would sound like.”
When she stepped into the front yard, she saw a plume of black smoke and smelled what she described as a metallic smell. She realized this wasn’t just a blown transformer.
Joyner said her mother has lived in the house for more than 50 years. It’s the house where Joyner grew up, and over time they’d become accustomed to the daily sound of planes flying overhead.
But Joyner said she can’t remember another plane crash since she was a child.
“You live here all your life, you know it can happen, the planes are right here,” Joyner said. “You always have the thought.”
Down the block, the Cox family said they, too, have gotten used to the air traffic. But when the plane crashed, Aaron Cox and his father. Jerry Cox, both heard what they described as a dull “pop pop.”
Aaron Cox said he also felt vibrations in the ground at the same time. And then, all at once, the power cut out.
Then there was the smell in the air.
“When you’re starting a grill up and you’ve sprayed the lighter fluid, that’s what it smelled like to me,” Aaron Cox said.
By about 2 p.m. Sunday, both the Cox family and Joyner said their power hadn’t been restored. Joyner worried about her mother, who needs electricity for her oxygen machine. Both families said they hadn’t received any notification of when power might return.
The accident caused electrical outages within a two- to three-block radius, local authorities said. The power had been restored by Monday morning.