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US Navy Jet Crashes Near Death Valley, Injuring 7. Pilot Still Missing

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The U.S. Navy is conducting a search-and-rescue operation for the pilot of an F/A-18 Super Hornet Jet that crashed near Death Valley on Wednesday, injuring seven.

The pilot was flying in “Star Wars” Canyon, a chasm in Death Valley National Park where tourists go to observe aviation training exercises, according to park officials, CNN reported.

“The cause of the crash is currently under investigation,” Lt. Cmdr. Lydia Bock, a spokesperson for the Navy’s Joint Strike Fighter Wing, said in a statement obtained by CNN.

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Search and rescue personnel are on scene and the status of the pilot is currently unknown,” Bock added.

Seven visitors suffered minor injuries from the crash, Death Valley National Park spokesperson Patrick Taylor told CNN.

The Navy issued a tweet Wednesday announcing the crash, which occurred around 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Officials say the aircraft was one of its F/A-18E Super Hornet jets. The single passenger jet was assigned to the ‘Vigilantes’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, according to Fox News.

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The crash occurred east of the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which is in the Western Mojave Desert region of California 125 miles north of Los Angeles.

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