Florida Homes Erupt in Flames After Plane Plummets From Engine Failure

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Florida Homes Erupt in Flames After Plane Plummets From Engine Failure

Authorities did not provide an exact number of those killed in the crash and ensuing blaze, but confirmed deaths from the aircraft and inside a home on the ground.

Josh Fiallo

Mobile homes burn at night.

Clearwater Fire & Rescue Department

Several people were killed Thursday night after a plane’s engine failed and crashed into a Florida mobile home park, sparking an inferno that damage “multiple homes,” authorities said.

Clearwater Fire Chief Scott Ehlers confirmed there were “several fatalities” in the crash, both from the aircraft and inside a home on the ground. He said it remains a “very complicated” scene, and that he doesn’t have a definitive number on total fatalities.

Few others details about the crash were immediately released, but Ehlers said his department called on neighboring agencies for assistance after the plane plummeted just moments after its pilot called out “mayday, mayday, mayday.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said the crash occurred around 7 p.m.

While much remains unknown, there has been some positive signs from authorities on the ground, with Ehlers telling reporters in a brief news conference that he was “expecting more injuries” than what occurred.

Ehlers said he didn’t yet know fate of the pilot, their destination, or where the plane took off from, but said the crash occurred about three miles from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.

“The tower over there was able to get radio transmission from the pilot and he was having a mayday, mayday, mayday, and the aircraft went off the radar,” Ehlers said.

The fire chief said trucks arrived the scene within seven minutes of receiving a call about the crash. He said one mobile home took the brunt of the plane’s impact, and that at least two others were occupied when they burst into flames, but their residents were able to escape.

Police are still scouring the scene for possible victims.

The FAA said the plane involved was a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza V35, which was designed to have a max occupancy of six people, including a pilot.

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