Several died when a small plane crashed into a mobile home park in Florida

A single-engine plane crashed Thursday night into a waterfront mobile home park in Clearwater, Fla., after the pilot reported engine trouble, killing several people, damaging four homes and setting the area ablaze, officials said.

The plane hit a home directly, causing “several fatalities, both from the plane and inside the mobile home,” Clearwater Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said at a news conference.

The crash set fire to part of the Bayside Waters mobile home park. Three more houses were damaged, but no one was injured, Chief Ehlers said.

The plane, which crashed around 7 p.m., was a Beechcraft Bonanza V35, and the number of people on board was unknown early Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

Videos posted online show orange flames and a wall of thick smoke billowing over houses. Frances Jont, who lives across the street from the crash, said 10 Tampa BayCBS affiliate, that she could feel the heat from the fire when she ran out of her home in Clearwater, about 20 miles west of Tampa.

“Everything was bursting like propane tanks,” she said. “There was nothing we could do,” she added. “It was horrible.”

The fire department received the first call at 7:08 p.m., and crews “quickly extinguished” the fire after arriving at the park around 7:15 p.m., Chief Ehlers said.

Around the same time his department was called, said the chief, St. Louis International Airport. Pete-Clearwater, about three miles away, sent its own fire response vehicles to the “aircraft having an emergency.”

The pilot radioed the airport for a “helpful day,” he added.

“The plane went off the radar about three miles north of the runway, which is at this location here,” the chief said at the crash site.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation, the FAA said.

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