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Virginia Beach, Virginia (CNN) — A U.S. Navy admiral said Saturday that the fiery crash of a fighter jet into apartment buildings in the military community of Virginia Beach matches his definition of a miracle.
No one was killed and everyone was accounted for one day after the accident.
“I don’t speak for anybody’s religious beliefs, but the mayor and I both agreed that if you want to define a miracle, what happened here yesterday meets that definition for me,” Adm. John Harvey, the four-star head of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, told reporters.
He said the Navy is investigating the crash, but noted it will take weeks to determine exactly what happened.
Witness: I saw flames under the plane
“We will not rush to judgment. We will get everything down. We will examine it carefully,” he said. “We’ll fix whatever went wrong.”
A special victims fund is available to assist those whose homes or possessions were damaged or destroyed. More than two dozen people spent the night at a temporary shelter.
At least seven people, including two pilots who ejected safely, were injured in the crash. All were released from the hospital as of Saturday, said Harvey, and are in “good shape.”
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell thanked those who acted in an hour of need.
“This amazing news follows the countless acts of bravery and selflessness that we witnessed yesterday,” he said in a statement.
He said the crash response highlighted the character of the Navy, safety officials and the people of Virginia.
“We saw neighbors rushing to the assistance of neighbors, the Navy pilots waiting until the very last second to eject, citizens pulling the pilots to safety and treating them, and a successful and efficient coordinated response from first responders, the city and others,” McDonnell said. “It was the very best of Virginia on display.”
Among those who sprung into action was an off-duty Coast Guard member. Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick Beane was at a friend’s house having lunch when the jet went down, according to a statement from the Coast Guard.
“My training kicked in,” Beane said. “I saw the fire and explosion, and I knew I had to help.”