PEMBROKE PARK, FLA. (WSVN) - Two people have died after a small plane crashed into a building in Pembroke Park.
Hollywood Fire Rescue and Broward Sheriff’s Office units responded to the scene in the area of North Perry Airport, near the intersection of Pembroke and South Park roads, just west of Interstate 95, shortly after 9 a.m., Friday.
Authorities said there were two people on board the twin-engine Aero Commander, the pilot and one passenger.
“[Crews] located two bodies, which have been confirmed deceased,” said BSO Sgt. Don Prichard.
Surveillance video caught images of the moment the plane hit the ground.
“You can see the way the wing is damaged. You can see the print on the building where it hit,” said a witness.
7News cameras captured several BSO deputies along with a number of investigators combing the scene.
Officials said the plane had taken off from Pompano Beach Airpark and was headed to Opa-Locka.
Air traffic control lost contact with the pilot somewhere over Hollywood.
“Did they land all right?” an air traffic controller said in an attempt to reach the pilot.
“This is a very scary thing for a pilot,” said a witness.
7SkyForce HD hovered over the scene where pieces of the aircraft could be seen in an empty lot.
Cellphone video footage also showed the extent of the wreckage.
Witnesses said they could hear when the plane was on its way down.
“I heard this loud crash, just a massive crash sound,” said a witness. “Just a horrible feeling. It’s a horrible sound imagining what happened.”
The airplane hit the storage building, breaking a window and scraping the wall.
Officials were seen covering the bodies of the victims with a yellow tarp.
Marks and a broken window could be seen on a nearby building that the plane apparently struck on its way down.
Armando Perez said he feels lucky to be alive as it was only a few minutes that saved him from being at the scene at the time of the crash.
“Everyone is dead!” he is heard saying in Spanish in cellphone video of the wreckage.
Perez said he was visiting the building to access a storage unit when he got held up and went inside.
“I was leaving the garage near the gate when I heard the explosion,” he said through translation. “When I looked, I saw the plane.”
Had he not gone inside, he said, he would have been pulling his car out, and the plane would have fallen on top of him or his car.
Perez said there was no way to save the victims, so he waited for authorities to arrive.
“If I would have left two minutes after, the plane would have fallen on top of me. It was a question of two minutes,” he said.
Others came to help, but nothing could be done.
In the midst of the debris, good Samaritans found a piece of luggage.
Perez said he feels lucky to be alive but also terrible sadness for the victims. He added that his heart and prayers go out to the victims’ loved ones.
The identities of the victims have not yet been revealed, but BSO deputies said they are currently notifying the victims’ family.
The investigation stretched well into the night. Cameras captured BSO deputies at the scene just after 10 p.m.
The plane’s engine, which came apart during the crash, ended up nearly on the road. Late Friday night, it was blocked off by BSO SUVs.
The plane was registered to Conquest Air Inc., a cargo company that services South Florida and the Bahamas.
In a statement sent to 7News, a spokesperson for the company said the plane was not used in day-to-day operations. It reads in part, “We will continue to work with the relevant authorities to obtain more information regarding this situation.”
This isn’t the first time the company has had a tragedy like this occur. Back in February of 2019, one of their planes crashed 15 miles off the Haulover Inlet, injuring one person and leaving another missing.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have responded to the scene. The NTSB is leading the investigation.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.