n Air Force B52D bomber with a crew of eight crashed in a huge ball of fire on the eastern Colorado prairie yesterday, scattering debris for a quarter of a mile.
The Air Force reported the flight originated from March Air Force Base near Riverside, Calif. Witnesses reported no survivors in the second fatal crash of military aircraft in two days. A Navy EA6B Prowler jet crashed near Virginia Beach, Va., Thursday, killing its three-man crew.
"It was just a white light and turned orange like a mushroom, then the fire laid down and spread," said Tracey Pryor, owner of a bakery in nearby Las Animas. She was driving to work with a friend at the time of the crash.
"All we saw were just the flames and a massive explosion. It lit up the sky so much that you could see the black smoke rising. It only lasted two or three seconds at the most. We were just in the right spot, probably about 15 miles from it."
An Air Force spokesman in Washington said radio contact was lost with the plane at 6:30 a.m. while it was flying at an altitude of about 400 feet.
He said there were no weapons or ammunition aboard the plane on a simulated bombing mission.