A B-1 bomber crash that occurred earlier today left four crew members injured but alive after having to force eject themselves from the plane before impact, CBS reported this Monday, Aug. 19. Fortunately, both the two pilots and the two weapon system experts only suffered minor harm in the incident.
The B-1 bomber crash occurred in a vacant region of southeast Montana. The exact cause of the crash is unknown, but crew members were alerted to the danger before the collision, providing them with enough time to eject from the plane. A spokesman for the Ellsworth Air Force Base set in Rapid City said that while forced ejection is only activated in emergency situations, it is frequently employed when a threat to the lives of the pilots or crew members are present.
More details on the B-1 bomber crash are unavailable at this time, said the report. Ellsworth Air Force Base is the site of the 28th Bomb Wing, where officials maintain and fly dozens of B-1 bombers. The base is also home to the Air Force’s three separate combat squadrons.
"We are actively working to ensure the safety of the crew members and have sent first responders to secure the scene and work closely with local authorities at the crash site," said a colonel of the 28th Bomb Wing commander. "Right now all of our thoughts and prayers are with the crews and their families."
There are roughly 60 B-1 bombers that are employed within the entire U.S. Air Force fleet. Emergency warning systems were activated sometime this Monday morning at 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. in order to alert emergency services in the the nearby Montana town of Ekalaka.
More details on the cause or circumstances surrounding the crash are expected to be forthcoming.