(DailyDig.com) – The Clearwater Fire and Rescue Department reported that on the evening of February 1, an aircraft smashed into a Clearwater, Florida, trailer park, killing several people.
Fire authorities confirmed that two individuals in the park and the plane pilot died.
Soon after the pilot declared an engine malfunction at about 7 p.m. on February 1, the Beechcraft Bonanza V35 slammed into a residential neighborhood in Clearwater, Florida, causing a fireball, according to an initial assessment by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
According to the local press, the residence caught fire when the aircraft hit the Bayside Waters trailer park (formerly Japanese Gardens) on U.S. 19 to the south of Clearwater Mall.
After the plane’s impact, the fire swiftly advanced to three other residences, but the flames were soon extinguished, according to Scott Ehlers, the Clearwater Fire Chief, who spoke at a press conference that evening. He said that three buildings have sustained fire damage, and another house could have suffered some damage as well.
Ehlers stated that the plane was located inside the building it first hit, and he had already verified that the plane and the home it struck contained the fatalities.
On the morning of February 2, the FAA announced that three individuals had lost their lives: the pilot and two in the home it struck. There was a post-crash blaze, according to the FAA accident report, which said that the aircraft crashed for unclear reasons. No one else was hurt, according to the accident report.
According to Ehlers, the pilot contacted St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to declare a problem just before the aircraft disappeared from radar nearly three miles to the north of the runway. Just seven miles to the southeast of Clearwater is the airport. The plane went down in a very populated residential area, so Ehlers was amazed that no one else was hurt or killed.
The event is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA.
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