Two people were killed aboard a small private plane after it collided in midair with an Air Force F-16 fighter jet Tuesday morning over South Carolina, federal safety officials told The Associated Press.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the fighter jet collided with a Cessna C150 around 11 a.m. ET, about 11 miles north of Charleston. Officials at the Shaw Air Force Base, east of Columbia, confirmed that the jet was one of their F-16 Fighting Falcons and that its pilot survived.
“The F-16 pilot safely ejected and was taken to Joint Base Charleston for a health assessment,” officials said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the friends and family of anyone aboard the civilian aircraft.”
Some debris from the civilian plane was found in a rice field, and the rest of the aircraft’s remains are expected to be found in water and on land because it’s a marshy area, Berkeley County officials said at an afternoon news conference.
Details of the victims aboard the Cessna were not immediately available.
There were no reports of injuries on the ground from the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board, which confirmed to The AP that two are presumed dead, said earlier it would send an investigator to the scene as well.
Michael Mule, a spokesman with the Berkeley County Sherriff’s Office, told NBC affiliate WCBD the plane crash happened at Lewis Field Plantation in the rural town of Moncks Corner.
Kathryn Dennis, a cast member of the Bravo TV reality show, “Southern Charm,” tweeted that the small plane crashed on the field in front of her home.
A witness told the station that he saw two planes collide in the air and saw a huge explosion, describing it as a “ball of fire in the air.”
The Air Force has flown F-16s since the 1970s, though very few active-duty squadrons still fly them.
This is a developing story. Mark Potter contributed reporting. This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.