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Three dead after small plane crashes into mobile home park in Clearwater, Florida

Three people have died after a small plane crashed into a mobile home park in Florida, in the southern US, when its engine failed.

The pilot contacted the Federal Aviation Administration at around 7pm on Thursday to say the only engine of his Beechcraft Bonanza V35 plane had failed.

The plane then crashed into the Bayside Waters mobile home park in Clearwater, creating a fireball and killing the pilot as well as two others on the ground.

Clearwater fire chief Scott Ehlers told a press conference that the plane destroyed one cabin and left another three with fire damage.

“The aircraft was found in the one structure,” Mr Ehlers said, adding that the fire had quickly been doused.

Smoke pours from the wreckage site after a small plane crashed into and demolished a mobile home (via REUTERS)
Smoke pours from the wreckage site after a small plane crashed into and demolished a mobile home (via REUTERS)

The Federal Aviation Administration filed a report which said the V35 had crashed in “unknown circumstances” and that nobody had been injured beyond the three fatalities.

Joe Miller, who was wrapped in a blanket and still shaking hours after the crash, told the Tampa Bay Times he scrambled through the wreckage of his mobile home, which was ripped apart by the explosion, and was greeted outside by leaping flames from the home next door.

After eight years in the mobile home, Mr Miller told the newspaper he has no idea what he'll do now.

"The roof's blown off and I don't know what's left inside. I just know I'm lucky to be here," he said.

Mary Fagan, 63, who lives down the street, told the newspaper that neighbours called her on Thursday evening, saying "Your [mother’s] mobile [home] is on fire”.

She said she rushed to the scene, and joined other neighbours as they watched firefighters douse the flames.

Kathy Benton told Spectrum News BN9: “We didn’t know what it was but we got in our golf cart and we just came around the corner and we could see a big fiery inferno.

“[It] sounded like a crash. There were other people here, it was very upsetting to see.”