Several people have been killed after a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza V35 crashed at a mobile home park in Florida, United States (US).
Clearwater Fire and Rescue Chief Scott Ehlers confirmed that the Beechcraft pilot was in contact with St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport (PIE) when they signaled mayday due to an engine problem. The aircraft then disappeared off radar about three miles north of a runway.
Emergency responders were called shortly before 7.10pm local time on February 1, 2024, after the plane crashed at Bayside Waters mobile home park in Clearwater.
Chief Ehlers told media representatives that the aircraft landed “predominantly” on one mobile home, but three were damaged by the subsequent fire.
We’re on scene of a small plane crash at a mobile home park south of Clearwater Mall. Multiple mobile homes have caught fire. Firefighters from multiple jurisdictions are on scene. pic.twitter.com/1vBLnTnY8R— Clearwater Fire & Rescue Department (@clearwaterfire) February 2, 2024
“I can confirm that we have several fatalities both from the aircraft and within the mobile home,” Ehlers said.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has confirmed some details surrounding the crash but could not specify how many people were on the plane at the time of the incident.
The Clearwater Fire and Rescue department shared footage from the scene on social media showing what appeared to be a burnt-out plane.
“We’re on scene of a small plane crash at a mobile home park south of Clearwater Mall. Multiple mobile homes have caught fire. Firefighters from multiple jurisdictions are on scene,” the post read.
Multiple injuries reported after Beechcraft Bonanza V35 crashed into the Bayside Waters mobile home park, formerly recognized as Japanese Gardens, situated on U.S. 19 south of the Clearwater Mall at approximately 7 p.m. pic.twitter.com/9fZJE0UMUC— Channel3 Now (@channel3nownews) February 2, 2024
According to Flightradar24, the Beechcraft, registered N6659L, took off from Vero Beach Regional Airport (VRB) at 6.08 pm for Tampa Clearwater Air Park Airport (CLW) where it was due to land at 7.15 pm.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is now investigating the incident.