Neighbors frustrated with F-16 plane crash cleanup

The military plane crashed in a field in Prince George's County.

PRINCE GEORGE'S CO., MD (WUSA9) - A week after an F-16 crashed in Prince George’s County, the plane remains in the ground. The Air Force told neighbors Wednesday it could take up to a month for things to get back to normal.

Reggie Stuart lives feet from the crash site. He has a view of the wreckage from his backyard.

“My yard was covered in debris,” he recalled. “My yard was on fire.”

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Since then, he’s been without water and air conditioning. Investigators are worried chemicals from the wreck site seeped into his backyard and into his home’s heating and cooling system.

Stuart has been relying on neighbors and loved ones to help his family get by without water.

“They’ve been letting me get water from their water hose, so I can flush. We’ve been visiting friends and family so we can take showers, me and the two kids,” he said.

Stuart might be in luck soon. On Wednesday, the Air Force hosted a meeting with neighbors to answer questions. Officials with Joint Base Andrews said so far they haven’t found any signs of contamination.

But Stuart’s frustrations aren’t over yet. His insurance company hasn’t been by the house yet to assess the damage. They’re scheduled to take a look on Saturday, which would be 10 days after the crash.

Officials hope to remove the F-16 by this Friday. Part of the plane is still buried in the crash site.

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The pilot experienced mechanical failure while trying to return to base. Instead, he was forced to aim his disabled aircraft at an open area about six miles short of a runway at Joint Base Andrews, according to military officials.

The pilot survived in good condition and no homes or people were hit on the ground, both local and military officials said.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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