The Navy confirmed Friday that a photo and video of an F-35 fighter jet that crashed into the South China Sea this week that were shared on social media are both legitimate.
The images were taken by someone aboard the USS Carl Vinson, the Navy said. In addition to investigating the cause of the crash, the Navy is now investigating the leak of the photo and video.
"The ship has assessed that the video and photo covered in the media today were taken onboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) during the crash. There is an ongoing investigation of the incident," the Navy said in a statement.
The 17-second video shared on Twitter shows the F-35 approaching the carrier but doesn't show the flight's attempt to land. The video also includes sounds of the engine and then shows a plume of smoke. The photo shows the aircraft floating in the South China Sea.
The Navy on Monday released a statement that said the F-35 had a landing mishap on deck while USS Carl Vinson was conducting routine flight operations in the South China Sea.
The pilot safely ejected from the aircraft and was recovered via U.S. military helicopter. There were seven total Sailors injured; three required MEDEVAC to a medical treatment facility in the Philippines, and four were treated by on-board medical personnel, according to the Navy's statement.
The Navy intends to conduct an operation to recover the aircraft, according to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.
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