Clearwater Fire & Rescue
Crews responded to a fiery plane crash in Clearwater, Florida on Thursday.
Several people were killed when a small plane caught fire Thursday evening over a mobile home park in Clearwater, Florida, officials said.
Firefighters responded to the scene of the crash at Bayside Waters Mobile Home Park around 7:15 p.m. local time, city Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said Thursday. Message description. They found four trailer homes on fire — one of which had the crashed plane inside, Ehlers said.
“I can confirm that we have many deaths from the plane and inside the mobile home,” Ehlers later announced, without giving an exact count of how many died.
It was unclear how many people were on the plane Thursday night.
The plane was found “essentially” in a mobile home, the fire chief said Thursday. Crews are still trying to contain hotspots and reach the bodies of the dead, Ehlers added.
Clearwater resident Steven Askari told CNN he heard an explosion Thursday evening that shook his entire apartment.
“Next thing you know a huge plume of smoke was seen,” he said in a news release.
Ehlers said Thursday that a plane experienced an emergency at the airport at the same time authorities received a call about a fire at a mobile home park. The plane eventually went off radar about 3 miles north of a runway, near a mobile home park.
The Beechcraft Bonanza V35, a single-engine plane, crashed in a residential area after the pilot reported engine failure, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration told CNN.
Smoke rises from a fire following a plane crash in Clearwater, Florida on Thursday.
The fire chief said Thursday night that the other mobile homes that caught fire were destroyed and there were no injuries.
The The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
Clearwater police also responded to the mobile home park and will work to secure and secure the scene, Chief Eric Gandy said during a news conference, adding that the incident is being treated as a serious traffic homicide.
“We will be working the scene as the night progresses to further clarify what we have and to secure the scene for the arrival of the NTSB and FAA later in the evening,” the police chief said.
Clearwater, home to more than 110,000 residents, is located 23 miles west of Tampa on Florida's Midwest coast.
This is a developing story and will be updated.