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1 Dead, 1 Injured When Small Plane Crashes On LIRR Tracks In Bethpage; LIRR Service Restored

BETHPAGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Long Island Rail Road service was snagged for hours Sunday in Bethpage, Long Island, after a small plane crashed right onto the tracks -- leaving one person dead and one injured.

LIRR service was restored for the Ronkonoma branch around 8:30 p.m.

The crash is the second one in the Tri-state in just two days, CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported.

The Hawker Beechcraft BE35 crashed onto the tracks South Oyster Bay Road around 7:45 a.m., Nassau County police and the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The single-engine plane was left in two crumpled parts, 1010 WINS' Derricke Dennis reported. The wing was on one side, the body of the plane on the other – and both were on the tracks.

"The plane actually came down right at our crossing," said Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Salvatore Arena. "But luckily, there were no automobiles around and obviously no trains were in the area."

The pilot, who has not been identified, was killed in the blaze as the plane crashed, officials say.

The passenger, identified as Carl Giordano, 55, of New Vernon, New Jersey, had fallen out of the plane when it struck an upright safety gate, MTA spokesman Salvatore Arena told Newsday.

Employees at Sleepy's Headquarters a few yards away rushed to help him.

"He was still conscious - you could see that he was weak, that he was all banged up," said employee Luz Perez. "But he was still speaking that's how he was able to know that there was someone else in there."

Perez saw the plane going down.

"It was flying too low, it looked like it was upside down," Perez said.

1 Dead When Small Plane Crashes On LIRR Tracks In Bethpage, Long Island

The plane had left Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach and was heading to Morristown, New Jersey, officials said. The pilot had called into Farmingdale reporting altitude difficulties before the crash, officials said.

Nassau Police Detective Lt. Gary Shapiro said some kind of mechanical problem was to blame.

As WCBS 880's Ginny Kosola reported, police barricades were set up in the industrial complex and office area surrounding the accident site, on Oyster Bay Road near Hazel Street.

1 Dead When Small Plane Crashes On LIRR Tracks In Bethpage, Long Island

The accident happened close to the Sleepy's corporate headquarters.

Tom O'Reilly of Levittown was on a morning bike ride when he saw the wreckage.

"I just seen it -- parts all over the place," he told WCBS 880's Kosola. "It was horrible."

Jackie Donnelly also lives in the area.

"We just heard sirens. We didn't hear any crashing. We just heard sirens," she said.

A small fire was reported at the scene immediately following the crash. A photo from the scene by Frank Hoeffner showed the plane in flames right on the LIRR tracks.

There were no reports of anyone on the ground being injured, but LIRR service on the Ronkonkoma Branch was halted between Hicksville and Ronkonkoma, a railroad representative said. The shutdown persisted as of the early afternoon hours.

Buses were also called for passengers who got stuck on trains going both east and west.

The Sunday morning incident was the second deadly small plane crash in the area in as many days.

On Saturday morning, a pilot was killed when his single-engine Cessna 206 crashed shortly after taking off from the Essex County Airport in Fairfield, New Jersey. The plane crashed into a wooded area in West Caldwell and burst into flames.

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