Deaths were reported after a small plane crashed at a mobile home park in Florida
Several people died after a small plane crashed into a mobile home park in Clearwater, Florida, on Thursday evening, setting homes on fire, officials said.
The death toll was unclear Thursday night, as firefighters worked to hot spots to reach victims. The accident occurred around 7 p.m
Most of the plane was in one house, Clearwater Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said.
“I can confirm that we have had multiple deaths, both from the plane and inside the mobile home,” Ehlers said. Police Chief Eric Gundy said they knew there were fatalities visually from the scene.
At least three homes sustained fire damage, Ahlers said. He added that, except for the house that was directly bombed, residents of other houses were able to get out.
The pilot of the Beechcraft Bonanza V35 plane reported engine failure before the crash, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
Helicopter video from NBC affiliate WFLA in Tampa showed a field of debris, including what appeared to be all or part of a home, and firefighters using flashlights at the scene as smoke billowed. Firefighters were putting water on a building using a fire hose.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.
The pilot reported a mayday at a nearby airport and then the plane went off radar about 3 miles north of the runway, where the mobile home park is located, Ehlers said.
Ehlers said he expects more injuries and more damage in a plane crash in a small residential area.
“We were very lucky,” he told reporters at the scene.