TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Three men have been hospitalized with broken bones and burns following a small charter plane crash in Tampa, officials say.
Tampa police received numerous 911 calls around 1:24 p.m. Friday for reports of a plane down in the area, according to a Tampa Police Department spokesmen.
One officer working in the surrounding area was able to arrive at the scene within two minutes, police say.
When the officer arrived, the plane was fully engulfed and all three men, aged 58, 24 and 23, were outside of the plane.
Police say the pilot reported emergency engine failure to the tower prior to the crash. As the plane descended, the plane clipped wires and a power pole along the intersection of N. Ward Street and W. Nassau Street. No buildings or structures were impacted during the crash.
The men were taken to Tampa General Hospital as a trauma alert. They are listed in critical but stable condition. All suffered second to third degree burns. Two of the men received broken bones during the crash. The other man is still being medically evaluated.
Tampa Electric Company is on the scene working to make repairs and restore power to the area.
Tampa Fire Rescue public information officer Jason Penny said fire rescue crews were staged on the runway for the plane’s emergency arrival, however, the plane never made it to the runway.
Penny said despite the men getting in the crash, it was a miracle no buildings were damaged or people on the ground were injured.
“It’s amazing. It’s miraculous. Any other adjectives you wanna use to describe what happened here
because there was no… injuries to anyone on the ground, minimal damage to property in the area… a lot of events that lined up together. Even though it’s bad for the folks that ended up in a plane crash, but any crash you walk away from is a good landing they say,” Penny said.
Emily Nipps with Tampa International Airport said the plane was coming from Zephyrhills to Tampa. Flight Aware, a live flight tracking website, shows the plane left Zephyrhills just before 1:10 p.m. and was expected to arrive at TPA around 1:22 p.m.
News Channel 8’s Niko Clemmons spoke with Leo Dominguez, an electrician, who was working inside a building down the street when he said the lights started flickering. When he ran outside he saw the plane dangling from the power lines.
Dominguez said he saw at least one person crawl out of the plane and they were badly burned.
“It was very scary, never been through anything like this, and it was very close, it looked like he was trying to land between the poles and landed between the wires,” Dominguez said. “It was a mess, fire everywhere, sparks, explosions.”
Officials say the plane was a Piper PA-28 Cherokee aircraft.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will take the lead in the investigation to determine the cause of the crash and will provide any further updates.
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