A “contractor-operated aircraft” that took off from Nellis Air Force Base crashed in a northeast Las Vegas neighborhood Monday afternoon, base officials confirmed on Twitter.
“Multiple federal and local first responders are on scene,” the 4:02 p.m. post reads. “The incident is under investigation.”
The crash was reported at 2:19 p.m. at 2245 N. Christy Lane, according to a Clark County Fire Department dispatch log. Several units responded.
Clark County property records show that the home is owned by Jose Villanueva, who purchased the property in 2012.
Reached by phone about an hour after the crash, Villanueva told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “It was scary to be honest with you. It was a really, really, really, really strong noise.”
Villanueva said no one in his home was injured. He described the plane crashing into the yard of his home and the house next door, which he said belongs to his uncle.
In an earlier tweet, Nellis Air Force Base confirmed the crash, noting that the aircraft was “associated with Nellis Air Force Base.”
“We will provide updates as they become available,” the tweet read.
Smoke was visible in the area immediately after the crash. Clark County Deputy Fire Chief Warren Whitney in a statement refused to comment, deferring requests for information to Nellis Air Force Base.
No further information was available about the crash.
Gov. Steve Sisolak on Monday afternoon offered his support on Twitter.
“Kathy and I are praying for all those involved in today’s incident — especially the men and women of @NellisAFB and the first responders on the scene,” the post read, referring to Nevada’s first lady Kathy Sisolak.
Several Metropolitan Police Department officers and patrol cars could be seen near the crash site as of about 3:30 p.m. A Metro spokesman declined to comment, also deferring to base officials.
About a half-mile away, the end-of-the-day release time for Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School students was delayed by about 15 to 20 minutes, a Clark County School District spokesman said. Students are typically dismissed at 3:11 p.m., according to the school’s website.
Before the crash, Anthony Milano, 16, happened to be taking photos of planes near the base when he heard emergency calls on his air traffic scanner.
“We thought it was a house fire,” he said of the smoke down the street.
Suddenly, Milano said, fire trucks came rushing out of the base, responding to what he realized was one of the fighter jets he had been photographing.
About a mile from the crash site, Joe Flores said he was working on his motorcycle in his garage when he heard a typical noise that comes with living in the northeast valley: house-rumbling, low-flying aircraft circling the area.
Then he heard a loud explosion, but didn’t think much of it until a cousin called about the nearby crash, asking if he was OK.
“There’s three or four of them flying that low every day,” he said of planes in the area. “I always hope they won’t hit a house or the little kids that walk around here.”
In 2016, a Vietnam War-era attack jet operated by a military contractor crashed about a mile from Nellis Air Force Base. The pilot ejected and survived with non-life-threatening injuries.
The aircraft was a Douglas A-4K Skyhawk, returning along with another A-4 from a weapons school mission over the Nevada Test and Training Range north of Las Vegas.
On June 28, 2011, Capt. Eric Ziegler was killed when his F-16C flying out of Nellis crashed on public land near the test and training range.
Air Force investigators later concluded in a report that the 30-year-old pilot blacked out because of high gravitational forces before his fighter jet went down in rugged terrain 20 miles west of Caliente in Lincoln County.
This is a developing story. Check back for more information.