The Latest: Off-duty fireman rescued 2 from burning plane

AP News
|
Posted: Jun 30, 2017 6:48 PM
The Latest: Off-duty fireman rescued 2 from burning plane

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a small plane that crashed on a freeway in Southern California (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

An off-duty fire captain who pulled two people from a burning plane after it crashed on a Southern California freeway says he's lucky to be alive.

John Meffert told reporters he was driving along Interstate 405 Friday morning when part of the plane hit his car as it crashed on the freeway. He says the plane was fully engulfed in flames after the crash.

Meffert says he saw a woman pop her head up inside the plane and then made his way into the plane.

Meffert, who has been a firefighter for 17 years, pulled out the woman and the male pilot.

Federal officials said the pilot of the Cessna 310 had declared an emergency shortly after taking off Friday morning from John Wayne Airport and was attempting to return to the airport when he crashed.

____

2:10 p.m.

The pilot of a small plane declared a mayday and told an air traffic controller one engine had failed before the aircraft crashed on a Southern California freeway and burst into flames.

The exchange was captured on a recording of air traffic controller communications, posted on the website LiveATC.net.

Federal officials said the plane had declared an emergency shortly after taking off Friday morning from John Wayne Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration said the Cessna 310 aircraft crashed along Interstate 405 as it was attempting to return to the airport.

The pilot shouted "mayday" four times in less than a minute and said he was trying to make it back to the airport.

He also told air traffic controllers, "I lost my right engine."

Orange County Fire Capt. Larry Kurtz said the two people aboard the plane — a man and woman in their 50s and 60s — were taken to the hospital with traumatic injuries.

___

1:20 p.m.

The California Highway Patrol says four cars were struck by parts of a small plane when it crashed on a Southern California freeway and burst into flames. But authorities say none of the drivers were injured.

CHP Commander Ryan Shackleford says the Cessna 310 aircraft hit the center divider when it crashed on Interstate 405 on Friday morning before it caught fire.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot declared an emergency shortly after taking off from John Wayne Airport.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the plane was trying to return to return to the airport when it fell from the sky and crashed on the freeway.

Orange County Fire Capt. Larry Kurtz says an off-duty firefighter rescued the two people from the wreckage.

He says the two people aboard the plane — a man and woman in their 50s and 60s — were taken to the hospital with traumatic injuries.

___

11:20 a.m.

A small plane was trying to return to a Southern California airport after declaring an emergency when it crashed on a busy freeway, erupting into a ball of flames and smoke.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the pilot declared an emergency Friday morning shortly after taking off from John Wayne Airport in Costa Mesa.

He says the pilot was trying to return to the airport when the plane fell from the sky and crashed on Interstate 405.

Video posted on social media showed the plane completely engulfed in flames and strewn across several lanes of the freeway. Traffic was backed up for several miles as firefighters worked to battle the blaze.

Orange County Fire Capt. Larry Kurtz says the two people who were aboard the plane suffered traumatic injuries.

___

10:45 a.m.

A fire official says a plane that crashed on a Southern California freeway clipped a car as it crashed but the driver wasn't seriously injured.

Orange County Fire Capt. Larry Kurtz tells KCBS-TV that Cessna 310 aircraft clipped the car as it crashed Friday morning on Interstate 405 near John Wayne Airport in Costa Mesa. He says the driver of the car suffered a "bruised elbow."

Kurtz says there were two people — a man and a woman in their 50s and 60s — aboard the plane when it crashed. He says both were pulled from the fiery wreckage and were taken to a hospital with "traumatic injuries."

The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane crashed just short of an airport runway.

John Wayne Airport says its airfield is closed to arrivals.

____

10:05 a.m.

A fire official says two people have been injured after a small plane crashed on a freeway near a Southern California airport.

Orange County Fire Capt. Larry Kurtz says the plane crashed on Interstate 405 near John Wayne Airport in Costa Mesa around 9:30 a.m. Friday.

He says two people have been injured and will be taken by helicopter to a hospital.

Kurtz says fire officials will be shutting down the freeway in both directions.

The airport said on Twitter that a Cessna 310 aircraft had landed on the freeway, short of the runway. The airport said the airfield is closed to arrivals.

A photo posted on Twitter showed what appeared to be a small twin-engine aircraft with flames shooting out of the front and smoke surrounding the aircraft.