"In just a matter of a few seconds, the center was turned upside down," said one official. "We processed about 400 calls in a 90-minute period, which is about four times what we would normally process in a 90-minute period."
Military officials are still trying to figure out what caused the jet to crash in rural Johnston County. Witnesses claim the plane spiraled into the trees after making a loud noise. Some described the noise as a loud boom while other witnesses claim it was an explosion.
Emergency officials said the situation was so hectic that they had to call in more employees to handle the phones. Officials said that since the planes were frequently seen in the area, callers were able to describe to emergency personnel what they had seen.
Military officials also released the names of the two pilots who safely ejected from the jet. Pilot 1st Lt. Christopher Jackson and Maj. John Voorhees were taken to Koritz Clinic at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base by military ambulance. They were examined by a flight surgeon, and no injuries were found.
Remnants of the plane are still in the woods as military officials are trying to recover the wreckage.
"They are actually building a road to be able to bring the aircraft out once they get it out of the woods," Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said.
Right now, military officials have closed the roads near the crash site to the public.
Authorities are asking witnesses and anyone who finds parts of the jet to contact the 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office at
during duty hours and
after hours to provide information for their investigation.