A plane smashed into the side of a warehouse and burst into flames in a devastating fatal crash that left building occupants fleeing for safety. The small two-person plane took off from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport on December 1, but its left engine failed and burst into flames in mid-air. Pilot Eladio Marquez tried to land the plane safely, but it reached the ground at high speeds and skidded across a street before crashing into the side of a warehouse. The impact caused the plane to erupt in a large fiery explosion, killing the veteran pilot and his passenger. The building was being used at the time for a behavioral session helping autistic youngsters, but quick-thinking staff members were able to rush all occupants to safety.
The Cessna 335 plane hit the warehouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, soon after taking off. Surveillance camera footage shows the plane sliding over the road surface with smoke billowing behind it. The craft shot into the building and burst into flames immediately. Seconds later, the video footage shows adults and children running out to safety. The staff members were unaware of what had happened but evacuated immediately when the building started shaking and the roof started to cave. All occupants escaped safely. However, pilot Eladio Marquez, 51, and his passenger – an unnamed former flight school student of Marquez’s – both perished in the tragic crash.
Firefighters were called and managed to extinguish the blaze which engulfed the warehouse building after the crash. The clean-up was complicated by the large quantity of jet fuel covering the ground and feeding the flames. An investigation has now been launched into the cause of the tragic incident. Airport bosses believe the heavy rain at the time of the flight may have contributed to the small craft’s engine failure. The pilot reported losing all power in the plane’s left engine to air traffic control, and witnesses say they heard the engine pop and emit black smoke as the plane passed overhead. Officials will speak to any mechanics who worked on the plane, as well as airport personnel who may have come into contact with the plane or pilot.
The investigation is ongoing into the tragic Florida crash, and it is not yet possible to identify the cause. Determining aviation accident liability can be a little complicated. There is a wide range of potential crash causes, such as mechanical failure, poor maintenance or manufacture, pilot error and more. In some cases, more than one party may be liable. Whether an incident involved a commercial or private flight could also impact liability.
Aviation accidents can cause deaths, serious injuries and extreme trauma, and victims may be able to pursue compensation for pain, suffering, and losses. Anyone impacted by a plane crash, either as a pilot, passenger, or pedestrian, should contact an experienced aviation accident attorney for the best possible help and guidance.