Police in Florida have released the names of the three people killed Thursday night when a plane crashed into a mobile home in Clearwater.
They were Martha Parry, 86, who lived in the mobile home; Mary Ellen Pender, 54, who was visiting; and pilot Jemin Patel, 54, said Clearwater police spokesman Rob Shaw.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s preliminary report said the “aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances into a mobile home park,” about 7:30 p.m. and there was a “post crash fire.”
The only occupant in the plane was the pilot, the FAA said.
At least nine people were inside the mobile home earlier Thursday night, but only two remained at the time of the crash, the Clearwater Fire and Rescue Department said in a news release.
Firefighters responded to the crash site at the Bayside Waters mobile home park, Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said Thursday during a news briefing. They found four trailer homes on fire.
The plane was found “predominantly” in one mobile home, the fire chief said Thursday.
“Our thoughts are with the three victims and their families; this tragedy could have been even worse,” Police Chief Eric Gandy said.
‘A giant pillar of smoke’
Clearwater resident Steven Ascari told CNN he heard what sounded like an explosion Thursday evening that shook his apartment.
“And next thing you know, a giant pillar of smoke was seen,” he said in a message.
The National Transportation Safety Board plans to remove the wreckage Saturday, and police will remain at the scene, Clearwater fire officials said.
“During the on-scene phase of the investigative process, the NTSB does not determine or speculate about the cause of the accident,” the agency said in a release.
Clearwater, home to more than 110,000 people, is about 23 miles west of Tampa on Florida’s central west coast.
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