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2 dead after plane crashes onto highway near Naples, Florida, and bursts into flames

2 dead in plane crash near Naples
2 dead in plane crash near Naples 02:01

Two passengers died when a small plane crashed onto a South Florida highway Friday afternoon, the Collier County Sheriff's Office said. Three people were able to exit the plane, said Robin King, a spokesperson for the Naples Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration said there were five passengers aboard the flight.

Pilot Edward Daniel Murphy, 50, of Oakland Park, Florida, and second in command, Ian Frederick Hofmann, 65, of Pompano Beach, Florida died in the crash, the sheriff said on Saturday. Survivors crew member Sydney Ann Bosmans, 23, of Jupiter, Florida, and passengers Aaron Baker, 35, and Audra Green, 23, both of Columbus, Ohio were transported to area hospitals, the sheriff said. 

The FAA confirmed that a Bombardier Challenger 600 carrying five people crashed on the highway near the city of Naples at about 3:15 p.m. It collided with a vehicle, sparking the fiery crash, according to the Associated Press

The plane, which had taken off from an airport at Ohio State University, was scheduled to land in Naples around the time of the crash, Naples Airport Authority spokesperson Robin King told the Associated Press. However, a pilot contacted the tower and said the plane lost both engines and needed an emergency landing. The tower then lost contact, and airport workers soon saw smoke from the interstate, just a few miles away, according to King.  

Video footage taken by a witness shows the aircraft burst into flames and a plume of smoke.  

"Had a plane just land RIGHT in front of us on I-75," the witness said after posting the video on social media. 

King told the Associated Press that the airport dispatched fire trucks with special foam to the crash site. Three of the people on the plane were taken from the wreckage alive. It's not clear what their conditions are. 

Southbound lanes on Interstate 75 were closed at mile marker 111, and northbound lanes are closed at the 105-mile marker, the sheriff's office said. The department is helping with traffic and closures.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, the FAA said. The first NTSB investigator arrived at the crash site Friday afternoon, the Associated Press said, with more expected to arrive on Saturday. A preliminary report about the crash will be shared in about 30 days, federal authorities said. 

Kathryn Krupnik contributed reporting.

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