A grounded F-16. FILE PHOTO

Homestead Air Reserve Base personnel were evacuated Wednesday evening for what officials say was an incident involving a “damaged ordnance.” According to various media outlets, the incident involved an explosive device that was mishandled while a fighter jet was on the ground.

A release issued by the 482nd Fighter Wing states that at around 5 p.m. on Wednesday, a transportation mishap occurred involving an explosive ordnance. Homestead Air Reserve Base first responders evacuated personnel from the base due to the damaged ordnance. 

Base emergency personnel coordinated with local law enforcement to clear the areas surrounding the base, with help from the Miami-Dade County Sheriff’s Office. People were asked to avoid Southwest 137th Avenue to Waterstone Boulevard from Southwest 288th Street to 312th Street. Residents were also advised to stay in their homes.  

On Thursday morning, the 482nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal team rendered the damaged ordnance safe. No one was injured in the incident. 

“I want to thank our outstanding EOD professionals and first responders for their great work last night,” Col. David Castaneda, 482nd Fighter Wing commander said. “I’d also like to thank our local law enforcement for their support in keeping our local community safe. My top priority is the success of our mission and the safety of our HARB personnel and the local community.”

The incident is under investigation. The air base said it will be providing additional information as it becomes available.

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Jim McCarthy is a northerner who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures for warm living by the water. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since his graduation from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 3 years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. “One of my college professors would always preach to be curious,” he said. “Behind every person is a story that’s unique to them, and one worth telling. Behind every community is resiliency and resolve in difficult times. As writers, we are the ones who paint the pictures in the readers minds of the emotions, the struggles and the triumphs.” Jim serves as President of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, which is composed of energetic members who serve the community’s youth and older populations. “It’s a group that lives by the motto ‘Service Above Self,’” he says. “We’ve done service projects at the Tavernier nursing home, sitting down and socializing with residents. “We’ve also supplied cameras to young students exploring the Keys ecosystem.” Jim loves sports, family and time exploring underneath the water depths.