Investigators will try to determine why a private plane crashed on a Florida highway, killing two people

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NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Federal authorities have launched an investigation to determine why a private plane attempted to make an emergency landing on a Florida interstate, striking a vehicle and causing a fiery crash that killed two people.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Bombardier Challenger 600 plane had five people on board when the accident occurred at about 3:15 p.m. Friday near Naples, just north of where the highway turns east toward Fort Lauderdale along what is known as Alley. Crocodile.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, and the NTSB will lead the investigation. An NTSB investigator arrived at the crash site Friday afternoon, and several more were expected to arrive Saturday.

Brianna Walker saw the plane’s wing pull the car in front of her and hit the wall.

She said: “It is seconds that separate us from the car in front of us.” “The wing crushed this car.”

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

“The plane was just inches above our heads,” she said. “It took a sharp right turn and slid across the highway.”

Walker said an explosion of flames then exploded from the plane, causing a loud bang. Pieces of the plane were scattered on the highway.

The plane took off from an airport at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, around 1 p.m. and was scheduled to land in Naples at the time of the crash, Naples Airport Authority spokesman Robin King said. One of the pilots had called the tower and requested an emergency landing, saying that they had lost both engines.

The pilot was cleared to land on the runway but replied, “We won’t be able to land on the runway. We’ve lost both engines,” according to a tape of the call cited by The New York Times. Naples Daily News.

The tower lost contact, and then airport workers saw smoke rising from the highway a few miles away, King said.

King said they sent fire engines equipped with special foam to the scene, and three of the five people on board were recovered alive from the wreckage.

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

According to plane tracking website FlightAware, the plane was operated by Hop-a-Jet Worldwide Charter, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The plane was scheduled to return to Fort Lauderdale on Friday afternoon.

Hope a Jet said on Friday evening that it had “received confirmed reports of an accident involving one of our charter aircraft near Naples” and would send a team to the crash site. The Naples Daily News reported.

“Our immediate concern is the safety of our passengers, crew members and their families,” the statement read. It did not include details of the accident.

An Ohio State University spokesman said the plane did not belong to the university, and they had no further information about it.

Federal authorities said a preliminary report on the cause of the accident is expected within 30 days.

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