Dash-cam footage has shown the moment a small airplane crashed through power cables and burst into flame before hitting the ground near a busy road. The pilot was reported to be from the neighbouring state of Oregon.
A single-engine Piper PA-32 crashed at 3:30pm immediately after taking off, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The aircraft struck a power line, causing widespread power outages, and a traffic signal which ruptured a fuel cell that caused a mid-air fuel spill and a vehicle fire, police said in a statement. Remarkably, the pilot and his passenger reportedly walked away from the crash landing.
Drivers on the road said they could feel the heat from the fireball from inside their vehicles. Eyewitness, Amanda Hayes said she and a co-worker ducked under the dashboard after their van was clipped by the wing of the plane.
She said: “We saw the plane losing altitude. It was rapidly losing maintainable altitude. I got more nervous and more shaken. We definitely felt the fireball as it went over the van.”
Power was out for the moments following the crash but it was soon restored.
In the video, you can see the plane descending rapidly and seemingly uncontrollably. As it clips the power lines, massive flames erupt into the sky, and it also appears that the plane nearly takes out a traffic light arm post.Small Airplane Crash Into Power Lines.
Some 9,000 homes lost power for almost an hour after the incident. Traffic was backed up for more than an hour as emergency services dealt with the damage. The video showed cars immediately trying to turn off to get away from the waves of heat generated from the blast. Just before the clip cut out, people could be seen sprinting towards the blazing scene.
The cause of the aircraft crash is being investigated by the National Transportation and Safety Board.