I think I would have chosen to land this thing at the lakebed at Edwards AFB. That's the reason the base stays there. The properties of the lakebed are awesome for crash landings. I recall them landing a B1 whose nose gear wouldn't come out, and watched the film of the F16 crash landing on the lakebed (dirt/sand/alkali shooting out the exhaust as the intake plowed.
The lakebed has a hard crust that allows for safe landings but that breaks up on a really hard landing. This give a softer surface for belly landings, but a harder surface for wheels and skids. Awesome stuff, and considering all the people in the plane I'd try to better the odds (which I'm sure they're doing) but I'd send 'em to Edwards AFB to help better the odds even more. No spark producing tarmac, and a landing surface that is the best for crash landings, and a fire/rescue crew that is trained to a different standard (one involving bomb laden aircraft etc).
But that's just my 2cents.