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Two Killed in Central California Fighter Jet Crash

Two people on board a fighter jet died Wednesday in a crash near a Central California naval air station, a military official confirmed to Fox News.

LEMOORE, Calif. -- Two people on board a fighter jet died Wednesday in a crash near a Central California naval air station, a military official confirmed to Fox News.

The FA-18 aircraft crashed at approximately 12:08 p.m. in a grassy field about half a mile from the station in Lemoore, Calif., Navy officials said. The two men killed were a pilot and weapons systems officer.

A crew working for a farm labor contractor in the area heard the crash, and the supervisor Jonathan Aguayo described a scene involving black smoke and scattered debris.

"I heard a loud noise, I turned around and saw some smoke," Aguayo said. "It was a big black type of smoke coming off the ground. When my dad and I drove up to take a closer look, we saw some debris in the field, smoldering. One large piece and a bunch of smaller pieces."

The names of the men have not been released. Navy spokeswoman Melinda Larson said the crash is under investigation.

F-18 Hornets are jets that are used by the military for combat operations and also in the Navy's Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron, which performs aerial shows.

Lemoore is about 30 miles south of Fresno in Central California. The Naval Air Station, which is home to about 275 jets, is the West Coast hub for the U.S. Pacific Fleet and its mission is to train and man west coast Strike-Fighter squadrons.

Fox News' Justin Fishel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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