F-35 crashes into airfield near Albuquerque airport

The only person on board, the pilot, is conscious, authorities said.

A military plane crashed off the coast of Albuquerque International Sunport Airfield, New Mexico’s main international airport, officials said.

The only person on board, the pilot, was conscious and taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital with serious injuries, according to airport officials and the Albuquerque Fire Department.

As of Tuesday evening, the pilot was in stable condition, according to a news release from Kirtland Air Force Base.

Two civilians were evaluated at the scene and neither was transported, firefighters said.

The downed plane was a new F-35, a U.S. official told ABC News. A Defense Contract Management Agency pilot was flying the plane, which was being transferred from a Lockheed Martin factory to be returned to service, at the time of the accident, the official said.

Lockheed Martin said the F-35B was en route from Fort Worth, Texas, to Edwards Air Force Base in California when it crashed after refueling at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico .

“The pilot ejected safely,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement. “Safety is our priority and we will follow appropriate investigation protocol.”

The fire at the scene was extinguished, authorities added.

“Flight operations have resumed, but check with your airline for flight status,” airport officials said.

“Grateful for the quick action of first responders,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller wrote on social media. “I pray for the pilot.”

This is a developing story. Please check again for updates.

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