HAGATNA, Guam: A B52 bomber crashed at a US airbase on the Pacific island of Guam Thursday but all seven crew escaped unharmed, officials said.
It went down at Andersen Air Force Base at 8.30 a.m. (2230 GMT Wednesday) with photos in local media showing flames and thick black smoke billowing from the plane.
“All seven aircrew members have safely egressed the aircraft,” the US Air Force said in a statement issued from the base. “No injuries have been reported. Emergency responders are on scene.”
The plane was deployed to Andersen from Minot in North Dakota and was performing a routine training mission. Reports said it went down shortly after take-off.
“The incident is under investigation and measures to mitigate possible environmental impacts are being taken,” added the statement.
The Pacific Daily News cited Guam Fire Department chief Joey San Nicolas as saying it appeared to be an accident.
“We assure the public this does not appear to be an attack, and we highly discourage anyone from spreading assumptions, or any information that does not come from (the Office of) Civil Defense or the military itself,” he said.
Guam is a US territory and is considered a key military hub by Washington.