WEST BROWARD, FLA. (WSVN) - Two men have died after their small plane crashed in the Everglades in West Broward shortly after takeoff.
Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue units arrived at the scene of the crash north of Alligator Alley, between mile markers 27 and 28, Wednesday morning.
According to police chatter, the pilot’s girlfriend called them Wednesday morning.
“The girlfriend called. He was supposed to call her when she landed, and he did not. His phone is off,” said a dispatcher.
BSFR officials said the first airboat went in the water to inspect the plane at around 10:30 a.m.
“We immediately responded units from our station out of the Everglades and surrounding stations,” said BSFR Chief Michael Kane.
7Skyforce hovered over the scene, where the plane was seen broken in pieces.
Officials said the plane was reported to be a Cessna 172 Skyhawk that departed from North Perry Airport and went off the radar.
“The aircraft left Hollywood, or Perry, at approximately 6:30 last night, and it appears, according to FlightAware, it went off the radar around 6:45 in the evening,” said Kane. “We only received the call this morning.”
Firefighters at the scene arrived to find the fuselage crumpled and still burning. They confirmed that the pilot on board the plane died in the crash.
During a search of the wreck, crews discovered the second body.
“We made contact with the aircraft at 11:18, and once we did, we found two occupants, but unfortunately they were deceased,” said Kane.
The Cessna was owned by A.T.A. Flight School out of North Perry.
Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration appeared at the flight school on Wednesday.
It is unknown where the plane was headed. Hours after the crash, the fuel continued to burn.
“What we assume is that the aircraft took off, it had a good amount of fuel, possibly,” said Kane. “When the aircraft went down, the fuel ignited, and that is what you’re seeing, you’re seeing the remnants of the aircraft fuel that’s burning off.”
The conditions of those bodies are also unknown. Their identity are still unknown.
The bodies of the two men were removed from the wreckage site by the medical examiner’s office. As of late Wednesday night, their names have not been released.
The FAA released the following statement:
Local authorities discovered the wreckage of a single-engine Cessna 172 in the Everglades off I-75 near Weston, Florida around 10:50 a.m. local time Wednesday, Jan. 24. The number of people onboard is unknown.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide any updates.FAA
The owner of the plane has not responded a request for comment by 7News. The owner is speaking with investigators.
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