VIRGINIA BEACH -- The crash of a Navy F/A-18D jet badly damaged five buildings - a total of 20 units - at the Mayfair Mews apartments.
Siera Herrington could hardly believe what she was seeing.
"I looked in this direction I was like' oh my gosh.' I saw smoke immediately," she said.
"This is something that;s going to be in your mind forever," added Mary Kaye Proctor.
Va. Beach Fire and Rescue spokesman Battalion Chief Tim Riley says five of the buildings at the complex have been heavily damaged. He said three of the buildings have had structural collapse and crews were searching for anyone who might be trapped or injured.
An Urban Search and Rescue team was called in to stabilize damaged buildings so crews could search for anyone who might be trapped inside.
If you have a family member who resides in the Mayfair Mews Apartments who you think is missing, contact 385-3111 to provide information on the person, so that first responders may try to locate him or her.
A total of 65 police officers and 55 fire and EMS workers were at the scene.
"We drill for this," said Pat Kavanaugh, a former Va. Beach EMS worker. "You always have EMS personnel trained for this."
Va. Dept. of Health spokesman Larry Hill says people in the area of the crash are being advised to close their windows and to stay away from the immediate area because of air quality concerns caused by jet fuel.
The city is opening a shelter for people displaced by the jet crash. It will be at Birdneck Elementary School at 957 S. Birdneck Rd.
The City of Virginia Beach Animal Care and Adoption Center at 341 S. Birdneck Road will be taking in pets for the residents in the jet crash impact area only.
The Red Cross, meantime, will be helping displaced residents. Anyone who needs help as a result of the crash can contact the Red Cross at 757-536-9859.
Seven hours after the noon impact, there were seven people reported injured – the two pilots, a police officer who injured his wrist, two people who were treated for smoke inhalation, a person who had blacked out during the first minutes of the frenzy and an EMS volunteer who came in with knee pain related to working at the scene of the crash. Everyone but one of the pilots has been treated and released, hospital officials said.