Three people died after a small plane crashed into a mobile home park in Clearwater, Florida, and set homes on fire Thursday evening, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday.
The Clearwater Police Department identified the victims, including the pilot, 54-year-old Jemin Patel. Martha Parry and Mary Ellen Pender were the two people killed on the ground following the plane’s impact. Parry was a native of Long Island, New York
The accident occurred around 7 p.m. and firefighters worked throughout the night on hot spots to reach the victims.
The plane was mostly in a home, Clearwater Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said.
At least three homes were damaged by the fire, Ehlers said. Apart from the house which was directly affected, the residents of the other houses were able to get out, he said.
The pilot of the Beechcraft Bonanza V35 had reported an engine failure before the crash, the FAA said.
The plane took off from Vero Beach Regional Airport Thursday afternoon and was originally scheduled to land at Clearwater Airpark.
Rick Renner, who lives in the neighborhood, said his house shook from the impact of the plane’s crash landing.
“We heard what we thought sounded like a motorcycle going by or something. Then a few seconds later there was a loud bang, the windows shook, the house shook,” Renner said in an interview that aired Friday on NBC’s “TODAY” show.
He ran to the accident site and filmed the fiery scene.
“Even after the fire was out, you couldn’t even tell there was a plane in there, everything was gone,” he said.
Renner said the accident was a shock to the community where “everyone is friends,” adding, “It’s just weird that something like this would happen in your neighborhood.”
Helicopter video from NBC affiliate WFLA in Tampa showed a field of debris, including what appeared to be all or part of a home, and firefighters using flashlights at the scene as smoke rose. The firefighters were putting water on a…