Florida plane crash: 2 dead after emergency landing on interstate plane


NAPLES, Florida (AP) — Traffic was halted Friday afternoon after a small plane attempted an emergency landing on Interstate 75 in southwest Florida, striking a vehicle and sending up a huge plume of black smoke, killing two people. Went. In the air.

The crash landing occurred in Collier County near the Pine Ridge Road exit, where the interstate heads east toward Fort Lauderdale, known as Alligator Alley.

Brianna Walker watched as the plane’s wing pulled the car in front of her into the wall.

“It was a few seconds that separated us from the car in front of us,” she said. “The feather tore this one car to pieces.”

Walker and her friend saw the plane shortly before it hit the highway, allowing her friend to stop the plane before it crashed.

“The plane was inches above our heads,” he said. “It made a hard right turn and slid off the highway.”

Walker said that flames started coming out of the plane with a loud bang. Pieces of the plane scattered on the highway.

“It feels surreal, like a movie,” he said. “There were seconds between us dying.”

The Federal Aviation Administration identified the plane as a Bombardier Challenger 600 jet and said there were five people on board at the time of the crash at about 3:15 p.m.

Robin King, a spokesman for the Naples Airport Authority, said the plane had taken off from an airport at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, about 1 p.m. and was scheduled to land in Naples at the time of the crash. A pilot had contacted the tower requesting an emergency landing and saying both of his engines had failed.

The pilot was given clearance to land on the runway, but responded, “We’re not going to make the runway.” We’ve lost both engines,” according to a tape of the call. Naples Daily News.

The tower lost contact, King said, and then airport crews saw smoke just a few miles away on the interstate.

King said he dispatched fire engines with special foam to the scene and three of the five people on board were pulled alive from the debris.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Adam Fisher confirmed the two deaths, but said he did not immediately know whether the victims were passengers on the plane or on the ground.

According to the FlightAware aircraft tracker, the plane was operated by Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Hop-A-Jet Worldwide Charter. The plane was scheduled to fly back to Fort Lauderdale Friday afternoon.

Hop-a-Jet said Friday night that it had “received a confirmed report of an accident involving one of our leased aircraft near Naples” and would send a team to the crash site. The Naples Daily News reported,

“Our immediate concern is for the well-being of our passengers, crew members and their families,” the statement said. It did not contain details of the accident.

An Ohio State University spokesperson said the plane was not affiliated with the university and they had no additional information about it.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, with the NTSB leading the investigation. An NTSB investigator arrived at the crash site Friday afternoon, with several more investigators expected to arrive Saturday. They will document the scene and examine the aircraft, which will then be taken to a secure facility for further evaluation. A preliminary report on the cause of the accident can be expected in 30 days.

Southbound lanes of the interstate remained closed late Friday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.


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