Two dead after jet plane crash lands on Florida highway, collides with vehicles

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) -A private passenger jet with five people aboard crash-landed on a busy Florida highway and collided with two vehicles on the ground in a fiery accident on Friday that killed two people, according to authorities and news footage from the scene.

The Bombardier Challenger 600 business jet, which took off from Ohio, was on approach to Naples Airport when the pilot radioed that both the plane's turbofan engines had failed, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in a statement.

Video and photos from the scene showed the aircraft engulfed in flames and smoke after it crash-landed on Interstate 75 near Naples, on southwestern Florida's Gulf Coast, and came to rest beside a roadside retaining wall.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the plane also struck a car and a pickup truck on the highway.

The jet was carrying five people, according to both the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Highway Patrol spokesperson Molly Best said three people from the plane survived and that two other people were killed. But she declined to specify whether the two fatalities were from the plane or the vehicles involved, saying next of kin were still being notified.

The number of people who were riding in the impacted car and truck was not given.

Miami-based television station WPLG said the pilot was heard on an air traffic control audio recording telling the Naples control tower that the plane had lost its two engines and was unable to make it to the airport.

WPLG said the plane, operated by the Hop-a-Jet charter aviation carrier, was ultimately destined for an executive airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where that company is based. The flight originated at Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, the NTSB said.

Members of an NTSB crash investigation team arrived on the scene within a few hours, an agency spokesperson said.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Long Beach and Kanishka Singh and Jasper Ward, both in Washington; Editing by David Ljunggren and Sandra Maler)