A small plane carrying five people crashed on Interstate 75 near Naples, Florida, exploding in flames and killing two people, according to officials. The aircraft, a Bombardier Challenger 600 series jet, crashed around 3:15 p.m. Preliminary reports indicate that the pilot radioed a dual engine failure as the plane approached Naples Airport.
The crash caused a fiery scene, with the plane’s fuselage engulfed in flames and a large plume of smoke billowing above the crash site. Witnesses described the chaotic aftermath, with emergency vehicles rushing to the scene and traffic coming to a standstill.
The plane, which departed from Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, Ohio, was scheduled to land in Naples. However, just minutes before the scheduled landing time, the tower received word from the pilots about the engine failure.
Brianna Walker, who witnessed the crash, described the harrowing scene as the plane slid across the highway, hitting cars and bursting into flames. She and others feared the plane would explode, prompting them to move away from the wreckage.
The crash closed a six-mile stretch of Interstate 75 for at least 24 hours as authorities investigated the incident. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will conduct further inquiries into the cause of the crash.
The tragedy occurred amidst a backdrop of stormy weather in the area, adding to the challenges faced by emergency responders. The Florida Highway Patrol urged drivers to avoid the area and seek alternate routes as the investigation continued.