In a tragic incident in Clearwater, Florida, several lives were lost when a small aircraft crashed into a mobile home park, causing extensive damage and fatalities both on the ground and in the aircraft. The crash occurred in the evening, with Clearwater's Fire Chief, Scott Ehlers, confirming the multiple deaths during a press conference shared on social media platform X.
The Clearwater emergency services were alerted to a fire at the mobile home park at 7:08 PM local time, around the same time reports came in of an aircraft experiencing difficulties shortly after takeoff from St. Pete-Clearwater Airport. The aircraft lost contact with airport operators just under three miles from the runway.
Responders arrived at the scene by 7:15 PM to find three mobile homes severely damaged by fire, with the aircraft wreckage discovered within one of the homes. Initial reports had indicated that only the pilot might have perished in the crash, with one person on the ground suffering minor injuries. However, the full extent of the casualties was not immediately clear.
Watch the flight track below
Fire Chief Ehlers emphasized the ongoing efforts to determine if there were additional victims, noting the devastating impact of the crash on the mobile homes involved. "A mobile home can't withstand much, so the plane essentially flattened it," Ehlers stated, adding that the fire compounded the destruction.
Local resident Steven Ascari recounted the moment of the crash, describing a loud explosion that shook nearby apartments followed by a significant plume of smoke. Firefighters managed to extinguish the flames within half an hour, but the community is left reeling from the sudden and dramatic loss.