Saturday 25 October 2014

Three killed as plane hits car site

Published 16/03/2013 | 05:26

A Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue worker checks a part of the Piper PA31 twin-engine that crashed shortly after takeoff (AP)

A light aircraft crashed into cars parked near a South Florida airport, killing all three people on board and burning around a dozen vehicles.

Fire-Rescue Division chief John San Angelo said the Piper Navajo, a twin-engine turboprop, had engine trouble shortly after taking off from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport at about 4.30pm local time on Friday.

The plane tried to turn around and make an emergency landing, but it did not make it back to the airport, he said.

The plane hit a tree and a fence as it crashed into the site containing repossessed vehicles, part of a busy industrial area near tightly-packed warehouses and stores. No-one on the ground was hurt.

Seven cars and a boat also caught fire.

"It looks like a junk yard that burned up," said Matt Little, a spokesman for Fort Lauderdale fire and rescue.

About 40 firefighters were at the scene. Mr San Angelo said smoke and the flames were so heavy that when firefighters first arrived, they could not tell where the plane was.

The airport serves smaller planes rather than the larger commercial flights at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The crash happened at the start of rush hour alongside Interstate 95, the major north-south route along Florida's Atlantic coast.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Keith Holloway said an investigator would arrive at the scene today.

Press Association

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