Facebook | Jeff Schoffstall

Watch The Terrifying Aftermath From An F-16 Crashing Into A Warehouse

Ryan Ford
Ryan Ford
May 20, 2019

It took a while to get used to the idea that, with cell phone cameras and dash cams everywhere, we would get to see all kinds of events that just weren't possible before. The world is better documented than it ever has been, and it's only possible because cameras are in everybody's hands now, and because social media gave us a place to put all those images and videos.

Just imagine going through your regular work day when, suddenly, the roof caves in and a fighter jet comes crashing down.

Facebook | Jeff Schoffstall

It sounds like something Michael Bay would dream up, but it really happened at an auto parts warehouse in California when a pilot of an F-16 had to bail during a training mission.

A dash cam in a car on a nearby highway caught the moment the jet connected with the warehouse roof.

The pilot did manage to safely eject, but obviously the plane didn't come down harmlessly in a barren, unpopulated field. Inside the warehouse, you would expect pandemonium, but workers were surprisingly calm.

From above, a sizeable hole in the roof showed the interior of the warehouse peeking through.

So it would be reasonable to expect a disaster below, but for a situation where something clearly went very wrong, many other things actually went right.

Some workers went for their phones first, taking pics and video of the scene.

Facebook | Jeff Schoffstall

Jeff Schoffstall took his phone out and started filming, saying "There's a military plane in our building," quite matter-of-factly. "So the turbines are spinning, there’s no roof on the building so you’re looking through the roof, the walls are gone."

Although a small fire did break out initially, the building's sprinklers quickly put it out.

Facebook | Jeff Schoffstall

Still, a HAZMAT team responded to the crash, parts of the nearby highway were closed off, and the immediate area was evacuated for precautionary reasons.

Amazingly, nobody inside the warehouse died in the crash.

YouTube | Ejler Bettenhausen

Only 13 injuries were reported, many of them just cuts and bruises that were treated on the scene. Three people were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

It could easily have been much, much worse.

YouTube | Ejler Bettenhausen

For one thing, although it was on a training mission, the fighter jet was carrying live ammunition. For security reasons the military didn't disclose exactly what ammo it was carrying, but it has since been collected and disposed of.

For another thing, the crash came with fortunate timing.

Just ten minutes earlier, the area where the jet came crashing down had been filled with workers testing equipment, Boss Performance Parts's owner said.

It's believed that a hydraulic failure caused the crash, but the investigation is continuing.

Check out Jeff Schoffstall's video below, with a note that the video contains some strong language.

h/t CNN, CBS, ABC News