Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Three people died in a fiery plane crash at a mobile home park in Clearwater, Florida, according to officials

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A report released on Friday morning shares sad news about a crash in Clearwater, Florida. On Thursday evening, a small plane hit a mobile home park, causing a fire and resulting in three deaths. The victims include the pilot and two individuals in a home. The crash occurred at 7:27 p.m. ET.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) report mentions that the plane crashed into the mobile home park for unknown reasons, leading to a post-crash fire. The pilot was the only person on the plane. Earlier that evening, nine people were in the mobile home, but only two were there at the time of the crash, according to the Clearwater Fire and Rescue Department.

Firefighters rushed to the Bayside Waters mobile home park, where Chief Scott Ehlers reported four trailer homes on fire, with the crashed plane inside one of them. Crews are still dealing with hot spots and working to reach the deceased individuals.

Clearwater Police Chief Eric Gandy expressed condolences to the victims’ families and emphasized that the situation could have been worse. A resident, Steven Ascari, recounted hearing an explosion and seeing a large pillar of smoke.

The incident unfolded when authorities received reports of a fire in the mobile home park and simultaneously learned of a plane emergency near the same location. The single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza V35 had experienced engine failure, according to an FAA spokesperson, and crashed into the residential area after taking off from Vero Beach earlier that day.

Audio captured from LiveATC.net caught the pilot saying just before the crash, “My engine is failing.”

Unknown pilots on air traffic control channels can be heard stating, “They crashed hard with the plane,” and “There are flames.” Another voice mentions, “It seems like they hit a house.”

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board mentions, “Two individuals at CLW reported that the pilot, on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF), couldn’t locate the airport. The pilot asked them to switch on the runway lights, which were already on from a recently landed plane. When the pilot requested a second time to turn on the lights, the intensity was increased to the maximum. Both witnesses then heard the pilot declare a ‘fire.'”

The other nearby homes that were on fire have been evacuated, and there were no casualties there, as confirmed by the fire chief on Thursday night.

Clearwater, with a population of over 110,000, is situated approximately 23 miles west of Tampa on Florida’s central west coast.

 

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