Plane sparks fire after crashing into Florida trailer park

Plane sparks fire after crashing into Florida trailer park
Video taken of the crash site shows fire and palm treesClearwater Fire & Rescue Department

A small plane crashed into a trailer park on Thursday evening in Clearwater, Florida, sparking a fire that engulfed mobile homes, fire officials say.

Firefighters say they received the call of a plane crash at 19:08 (00:08GMT), and quickly responded to the scene.

Clearwater Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said at a news conference that they received the call around the same time that the airport reported a plane in trouble.

Air traffic control heard the pilot declare a mayday before disappearing.

Video of the crash site at the Bayside Waters mobile home park shows wreckage strewn into the street.

Chief Ehlers told reporters that four trailers were “heavily involved”, and one was struck by the plane.

The fires were “quickly extinguished”, he said.

Three of the homes have been searched and found to contain no victims, he said, adding that residents were inside when the plane crashed but were able to flee to safety.

Investigators are still working to approach the trailer that was directly hit by the plane.

The pilot is believed to have died, he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement that the plane was a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza V35 that had reported an “engine failure” shortly before the crash.

The statement said that “it is not yet known how many people were on board”.

The crash will be investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).


By David Ryckman