Florida plane crash at Publix: Five injured, no fatalities (+video)
Florida plane crash: A small experimental aircraft crashed into a Publix supermarket Monday. Five people were injured, including the pilot and passenger.
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Marleny Arevalo, a manager at a nearby Taco Bell fast food restaurant, said she didn't hear or see the crash but Arevalo said she quickly ran with another employee to the shopping center and saw flames in the air shooting from near the back of the Publix supermarket.Skip to next paragraph
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"There was a lot of smoke. When I first saw it, there was fire in the air and then it was just a lot of black smoke," she said, adding she tried to go behind the supermarket where fire officials blocked the area. She said they also blocked surrounding roads for hours afterward.
Roth Peeler, who lives about 300 feet (90 meters) behind the store, told the Orlando Sentinel he saw the plane go down.
"A small ... yellow plane spiraled right down and through the roof and just exploded," Peeler said. "Not a piece of the plane came out. It's all in the store."
"I went around the front and saw people running out of the store and trying to get into their cars and out of the parking lot," he added.
It wasn't immediately clear how many people were in the shopping center at the time of the crash or where exactly the plane had struck the supermarket.
Broadcast station WFTV reported on its website that Publix employees who declined identification looked up after the plane crashed through the roof.
The station reported that workers saw the pilot and a passenger climb from the plane with their clothing on fire. The report added that a manager in the supermarket meat department was able to put out the fire in their clothes and rush them outside for help.
The report said both of the plane's occupants were severely burned and three other adult shoppers in the store were taken to a local hospital where one was treated and released. The report said none of the shoppers had life-threatening injuries, quoting an unnamed hospital official.
A dark column of smoke wafted from the supermarket rooftop after the crash. About 20 fire trucks at one point crowded about the complex. Firefighters atop a truck's extension ladder poured streams of water on the flames.
Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told The Associated Press in an email that the FAA did not provide air traffic services for the flight and had no information on the plane, its flight or those aboard..
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