Two people died after a small plane attempted to make an emergency landing on Interstate 75 in southwest Florida on Friday afternoon, colliding with a vehicle and bringing traffic to a halt as a massive plume of black smoke rose into the air.
The crash landing happened near the Pine Ridge Road exit in Collier County, just north of where the interstate heads east toward Fort Lauderdale along what is known as Alligator Alley.
Brianna Walker saw the wing of the plane drag the car in front of hers and slam into the wall.
“It’s seconds that separated us from the car in front of us,” she said. “The wing pulverized this one car.”
Walker and her friend spotted the plane moments before it hit the highway, allowing her friend to pull over before the crash.
“The plane was over our heads by inches,” Walker said. “It took a hard right and skid across the highway.”
She said an explosion of flames then burst from the plane with a loud boom. Pieces of the plane littered the highway.
“It feels unreal, like a movie,” she said. “It was seconds between us dying.”
The US Federal Aviation Administration identified the aircraft as a Bombardier Challenger 600 jet and said that five people were aboard when the crash happened at about 3:15pm.
The plane had taken off from an airport at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, at about 1pm and was scheduled to land in Naples at about the time of the crash, Naples Airport Authority spokesperson Robin King said.
A pilot had contacted the tower requesting an emergency landing, saying they had lost both engines.
The pilot was cleared to land on a runway, but said: “We’re not going to make the runway. We’ve lost both engines,” according to a tape of the call cited by the Naples Daily News.
The tower lost contact, and then airport workers saw the smoke from the interstate just a few kilometers away, King said.
King said they sent fire trucks with special foam to the scene, and three of the five people on board were taken from the wreckage alive.
Collier County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Adam Fisher confirmed two deaths, but said he did not immediately know whether the victims had been passengers on the plane or were hit on the ground.
The plane was operated by Hop-a-Jet Worldwide Charter based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the FlightAware aircraft tracker showed.
The aircraft had been scheduled to fly back to Fort Lauderdale on Friday afternoon.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are to investigate. A preliminary report about the cause of the crash can be expected in 30 days.
Vaccines that protect against severe illness, death and lingering long COVID-19 symptoms from a SARS-CoV-2 infection were linked to small increases in neurological, blood and heart-related conditions in the largest global vaccine safety study to date. The rare events — identified early in the pandemic — included a higher risk of heart-related inflammation from mRNA shots made by Pfizer Inc, BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc, and an increased risk of a type of blood clot in the brain after immunization with viral-vector vaccines such as the one developed by the University of Oxford and made by AstraZeneca PLC. The viral-vector jabs were
Women on Thursday officially joined a so-called “naked festival” at a shrine in central Japan for the first time in the event’s 1,250-year history, donning purple robes and chanting excitedly as they bore a large bamboo trunk as an offering. Seven groups of women took part in the ritual which is said to drive away evil spirits and where participants pray for happiness. Despite its name, those taking part are not naked. Many women wore “Happi Coats” (robes that reach to the hips) and shorts that are typically worn at Japanese festivals, although men just wore loincloths similar to those worn by
DECLINE: About 27 million Argentines are poor, of which 15 percent are mired in ‘destitution,’ meaning they cannot adequately cover their food needs, a study showed Poverty levels last month skyrocketed to 57.4 percent of Argentina’s population of 46 million, the highest rate in 20 years, a study by the Catholic University of Argentina (UCA) showed. The findings quickly unleashed accusations between Argentina’s former vice president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and the government of President Javier Milei, who came to power announcing a series of shock measures aimed at tackling the country’s severe crisis. About 27 million people in Argentina are poor and 15 percent of those are mired in “destitution,” meaning they cannot adequately cover their food needs, according to the study released over the weekend. The UCA’s
‘DRAGON SLAYERS’: The alleged members of a radical protest group were arrested after police accused them of planning a bomb attack during a Human Rights Day rally Fourteen people yesterday went on trial in Hong Kong for allegedly planning to carry out a bomb attack to murder police officers during pro-democracy protests in 2019, with prosecutors invoking the territory’s anti-terrorism act. The defendants, allegedly members of a radical protest group called “Dragon Slayers,” were arrested after police accused them of planning to carry out a bomb attack during a rally marking International Human Rights Day. Thousands of people have been rounded up and charged over their involvement in months of huge and at times violent protests that started in 2019 calling for greater autonomy from Beijing’s rule. Hong Kong