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Marine F-35 jet crashes in California after clipping wings mid-air with refueling plane

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KESQ/NPG
Emergency landing is seen on the left and the crash on the right.

IMPERIAL COUNTY, California -- A Marine Corps F-35 fighter jet crashed in California after clipping the wing of a Marine KC-130 refueling tanker during a mid-air refueling on Tuesday, according to a Marine Corps statement.

The F-35 pilot was able to eject safely and the KC-130 was able to carry out a safe emergency landing. The pilot was being treated for his injuries.

"At approximately 1600 (4 p.m. Pacific time) it was reported that an F-35B made contact with a KC-130J during an air-to-air refueling evolution, resulting in the crash of the F-35B," read a statement from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona. "The pilot of the F-35B ejected successfully and is currently being treated."

"The KC-130J is on deck in the vicinity of Thermal Airport. All crew members of the KC-130J have been reported safe," read the statement.

The refueling tanker landed near a field, according to ABC affiliate KESQ.

A defense official said both aircrafts were stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

The Marines said the incident was under investigation.

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