Small plane crashes into building near Fort Lauderdale airport
The pilot and passenger of a small plane are dead following a fiery crash into an occupied therapy center for children with autism on Saturday afternoon.
The building housing Positive Behavior Supports Corp., located at 1001 NW 62nd St. in Fort Lauderdale, sustained “substantial structural damage” and caught on fire with five children and eight adults inside, according to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan.
One of the center’s teachers sustained a minor injury while evacuating the children from the building, but the teacher was not taken to a hospital, Gollan said. The occupants of the plane were not identified. Neither was the model of plane involved in the crash or the cause of the crash. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration have taken over the scene, Gollan said.
The crash happened just after 1:20 p.m., and fire crews arrived at the scene at 1:32. By 2 p.m., the fire — which charred much of the outside of the building — had been extinguished. The building is located near the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport.
Gerald Hould, a bystander who witnessed the aftermath of the crash, said he noticed the plane was “in trouble with the engine” as it passed near him.
“A couple seconds later, I saw the black smoke and I was sure the air plane [had] crashed,” he said.
Miami Herald photographer Matias Ocner contributed to this report