2 military planes collide over California during refueling operation

2 military planes collide over California during refueling operation
Two military planes collided during a midair refueling operation in California on Tuesday. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Military officials confirmed that an F-35B fighter jet crashed near Salton City, California, on Tuesday during a midair refueling operation. A C-130 transport aircraft made an emergency landing near Thermal, California, authorities said.

Marine Corps officials said the accident happened just after 4 p.m., KYMA reported.

According to the California Highway Patrol’s traffic website, a report of an aircraft making an emergency landing was made shortly before 4:10 p.m., KNBC reported. Eight people were reportedly on board the C-130 aircraft, the television station reported.

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The pilot of the F-35B ejected successfully, KYMA reported. Doctors are treating his injuries, the television station reported.

The C-130 is on deck in the vicinity of Thermal Airport. All of its crew members are safe.

Officials continue to investigate the crash.

Riverside County fire crews and sheriff’s personnel converged on the area near Thermal by 4:30 p.m., the Desert Sun reported. Officials declined to provide specific details regarding what happened, the newspaper reported.

According to reports from KYMA, two parachutes were seen dropping from the aircraft before it went down near Salton City. According to Naval Air Facility El Centro, military crews immediately responded. There was a small fire that erupted after that aircraft hit the ground.