Three people are dead after a Northrop Grumman EA-6B crashed in eastern Washington state Monday morning during a routine low-level training flight.
According to base officials, the airplane was assigned to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and went down shortly before 9 a.m. local time approximately 10 miles outside the city of Harrington, which lies southwest of Spokane.
Local media reports indicate that there were two Naval aircraft operating in the area when one went down. The remaining airplane alerted authorities about the accident before headed back to base due to low fuel levels. The aircraft made no reports of parachute sightings.
Photos of the accident scene show bits of scattered debris in an open field near a large expanse of dark, seared ground. Local residents reported a loud boom at the time of the crash; one witness said the blast was so strong it shook her house.
The three crewmembers on board were confirmed dead by the local sheriffs office.
The EA-6B is a twin-engine electronic warfare aircraft manned by one pilot and two to three electronic countermeasures officers. The long-range airplane was introduced during Vietnam and has since been used to monitor and jam enemy electronic signals in conflicts around the globe.