Naples, Florida plane crash kills two on US highway; officials investigating | Air News

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The Bombardier Challenger 600 series jet has crashed on the I-75 highway in the US state of Florida.

A private passenger jet crash-landed on a busy highway in Florida in the United States and hit two vehicles on the ground in a fiery crash that killed two people, authorities and witnesses said.

Minutes before the plane with five people on board entered the highway on Friday, the pilot calmly told an airport controller that the plane “wasn’t going to make the runway” because it was on both lose engine.

The jet was bound for the airport in Naples when it tried to make an emergency landing on Interstate 75. But witnesses say it hit a vehicle – the wing of the plane dragging a car before he ran into a wall. An explosion followed, with flames and black smoke rising from the scene.

Two people were killed, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, but it was not immediately known if the victims had been passengers on the plane or if they were on the ground.

Federal authorities have launched an investigation into the crash near Naples, just north of where the interstate heads east to Fort Lauderdale on what is known as Alligator Alley.

The plane had taken off from the Ohio State University airport in Columbus, Ohio, around 1 p.m. It was scheduled to land in Naples at the time of the crash, Naples Airport Authority spokesman Robin King said, when the pilot called the tower requesting an emergency landing.

“Got that. Emergency. Clear to land. Runway. Two. Three,” an air traffic controller replied to the pilot, in audio obtained by The Associated Press.

“We are clear to land, but we are not going to make the runway. We’ve lost both engines,” the pilot calmly replied.

‘The shield took away a car’

The tower lost contact, and then airport workers saw the smoke from the intersection just a few miles away, King said.

King said they sent fire trucks with special foam to the scene, and three of the five people on board were taken from the wreckage alive.

Brianna Walker saw the wing of the plane drag the car in front of her and slam into the wall.

“We were separated from the car in front of us by seconds,” she said. “The wing took out this one car.”

Walker and her friend saw the plane moments before it hit the highway, allowing her friend to pull over before the crash.

“The plane was over our heads by inches,” she said. “He took a hard leg and slid across the highway.”

According to flight tracker FlightAware, the plane was operated by Hop-a-Jet Worldwide Charter based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The flight was scheduled to fly back to Fort Lauderdale on Friday afternoon.

Federal authorities said a preliminary report on the cause of the crash is expected in 30 days.

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