Several people were killed after a small plane crashed into a trailer park on Thursday in Florida, setting fire to several homes, according to the BBC. The single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza V35 went down in the Bayside Waters mobile home park in Clearwater just south of the Clearwater Mall. Air traffic control heard the pilot declare a mayday before disappearing. It is unclear how many people were on board, but the crash resulted in “several fatalities, both from the aircraft and within the mobile home,” as per Clearwater Fire and Rescue Department.
A video of the crash site was shared on X by the fire department. It shows wreckage strewn into the street. “We’re on scene of a small plane crash at a mobile home park south of Clearwater Mall. Multiple mobile homes have caught fire. Firefighters from multiple jurisdictions are on scene,” the caption of the post read.
We’re on scene of a small plane crash at a mobile home park south of Clearwater Mall. Multiple mobile homes have caught fire. Firefighters from multiple jurisdictions are on scene. pic.twitter.com/1vBLnTnY8R
— Clearwater Fire & Rescue Department (@clearwaterfire) February 2, 2024
Speaking to reporters, Clearwater Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said four trailers were “heavily involved”, and one was struck by the small plane. The fires were “quickly extinguished,” he said.
Further, as per the fire chief, 3 of the homes have been searched and found to contain no victims. Residents were inside when the plane crashed but were able to flee to safety, Mr Ehlers added.
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Investigators are still working to approach the trailer that was directly hit by the plane. The pilot is believed to have died, officials said.
Separately, in a statement, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that the plane was a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza V35 that had reported an “engine failure” shortly before the crash. “It is not yet known how many people were on board,” the statement added.
The crash will be investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).