HOUSTON - Ellington Airport and the surrounding area were shut down and off-limits for more than six hours after an F-16 crashed after take off.

A pilot ejected from an F-16 jet with missiles on board when it crashed and caught fire at Ellington Field Wednesday.

The pilot, who is from a detachment of the 138th Fighter Wing, crashed on takeoff during a training flight.

"It was extremely dramatic to see," said Christopher Ebdon, who witnessed the crash. He works on Vietnam-era aircraft at Ellington and watched as the modern jet went down during takeoff.

Residents and drivers near Ellington who were nearby during the crash never would have guessed that the loud boom was a jet crash.

Law enforcement units quickly started closing off everything within a one-mile radius - shutting down the airport, closing roads and evacuating those nearby.