SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Two people were injured in an overnight plane crash in the Everglades.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews were challenged to make it in severe weather through the grassy area, which was several miles west of Krome Avenue and Okeechobee Road, just before 11 p.m., Thursday.
Officials said when they came across the crash site, they were shocked to find the passengers alive.
“Honestly, my objective was to get onto the wreckage and kind of confirm fatalities. The last thing that I expected was to find not one, but two viable patients,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Derrick Caballero.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Cessna 152 aircraft was inbound to Miami Executive Airport.
According to Miami-Dade Police, the pilot and a passenger were injured in the crash. They were both airlifted to Kendall Regional Medical Center in stable condition.
7Skyforce flew over the scene, where you could see the mangled plane in the middle of a field. Police said the area is not accessible by car, which made it difficult for rescuers to find.
“It was an extremely difficult rescue, in the fact that we had severe weather,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Chief Jeff Suarez.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Derrick Caballero said his team had to use night-vision goggles to find the plane.
“Within two or three minutes during the linear search, we encountered the wreckage within the swamp,” said Caballero.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are now investigating the cause of the crash. However, Marshall Jones, the owner of a nearby business, believes weather may have played a factor.
“The weather played a significant part in the crash for sure because the rain and the wind were very significant,” Jones said.
“When the rescuers got to the victims and saw they were live victims, they were thrilled to see our arrival,” Suarez said.
A medic was lowered to the crash scene when he saw one of the crash victims moving, but was trapped. He soon after noticed that another person was also alive.
“Their bodies were entrapped underneath, “Caballero said. “From talking to them, they were more or less able to tell us what was hurting them.”
The two-seater plane has a sticker that says it belongs to Dean International Flight School.
“Including this one, three aircrafts have gone down within a five-square mile radius in the last two years – in that same area – because it’s a very popular training area,” Jones said.
According to the NTSB, there have been 10 crashes since 1998 from Dean International Flight School. Four people were killed in three of those crashes.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said they met on Thursday to discuss the importance of responding to these types of calls.
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