Devoun Cetoute, Martin Vassolo and Bianca Padro Ocasio, Miami Herald
Miami (tca/dpa) — One person was killed and five others were injured, including two toddlers, after a small plane crash-landed on a bridge near Miami’s Haulover Park on Saturday afternoon, striking a car and bursting into flames, authorities said.
The single-engine Cessna 172 lost engine power and landed on the Haulover Inlet Bridge around 1 pm, the US Federal Aviation Administration said. The plane had taken off from Hollywood-Fort Lauderdale International Airport with three people on board headed for Key West International Airport.
A woman and two toddlers were in a car driving on the bridge when the plane made the emergency landing, Miami-Dade police said. After a head-on collision with the car, the plane flipped and became engulfed in flames. Another car was clipped in the crash.
Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said it was “miraculous” that the woman with the children emerged from the collision with no serous injuries.
“God’s hands were protecting those kids because what are the odds? A head-on collision with an aircraft and you get to walk off. Amazing,” he told the Miami Herald.
When Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arrived, two of the three plane passengers were already outside of the aircraft. After firefighters put out the blaze, they found a person dead inside the plane, police said.
The woman and children were in good, stable condition and taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center as a precaution.
One person was taken by helicopter to Ryder Trauma Center and another person was taken to Aventura Hospital. Their conditions were not immediately known.
According to the FAA’s plane registry and the global flight tracking site FlightRadar24, the aircraft belongs to two local pilots, Adam Cartwright of Homestead and William Shaw of Miami.
The FAA has not officially released the aircraft’s registration number, but Shaw confirmed to the Miami Herald it was his plane that crashed on Saturday afternoon.
Neither Cartwright nor Shaw were in the plane, Shaw said, adding he had no other comment about the fatal incident. It wasn’t immediately clear who had piloted the plane.
Due to fuel runoff from the crash, the Department of Environmental Resources Management was called to the scene at Collins Avenue and 108th Street, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said.
Expert says crash may not have affected bridge’s integrity
A bridge inspection company and workers with the Florida Department of Transportation were also on site Saturday, Zabaleta said. It was too early to determine if the bridge had been damaged, he said.
“I’m sure city officials and the proper authorities are going to diagnose that and look that over,” he said.
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