FELICITY, CA - MCAS Yuma is carefully preparing to clean up where an AV-8B Harrier jet crashed, but their efforts are hampered by the presence of two 500 pound bombs the hover-jet was carrying.
"That's why we have our Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team here today. They're going to be safely assessing the situation and make a determination on the best way to get that ordinance out of this location," explains Capt. Staci Reidinger, Director of Public Affairs for MCAS Yuma.
So just how does one go about getting rid of two 500 pound bombs?
"The two options currently that they're looking at is either to actually detonate those bombs here out in this location where it's not going to do any harm to anyone or to disarm them and move them back to our disposal location closer to the air station which would require movement onto I-8."
A decision on the bomb disposal method is expected to be made by the weekend.
As for the cause of the crash, preliminary indications suggest the crash was due to mechanical failure. The information comes, in part, from the pilot who ejected safely before the crash. He was treated and released by Yuma Regional Medical Center with no major injuries.
Capt. Reidinger says the pilot was in training, but had already completed his initial training in Pensacola, Florida.
"He (the pilot) is already in the fleet. He's already a flyer and I think he did an amazing job yesterday of saving lives. He saved his own life and now we're just going to be sure everybody stays safe getting the ordinance out of here and getting everything put back," says Capt. Reidinger.
Capt. Reidinger says the preliminary cleanup will take about a week, which includes the removal of the jet debris. She adds it may take longer to restore the environment to its original state, but the Marine Corps is dedicated to the task ahead.
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