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Two dead after private jet crashes onto Florida motorway

Two people have been killed after a private jet lost both engines and crashed onto a highway in Florida on Friday, authorities have said.

Five people were onboard the Bombardier Challenger 600 when it came down about 3.15pm on Interstate 75 near the small city of Naples, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Airport spokesperson Robin King told AFP news agency that two minutes before the plane was scheduled to land at Naples Municipal Airport, the pilot radioed air traffic control and said he was requesting an emergency landing after losing both engines.

A passenger in a passing car managed to captured the crash on their phone
A passenger in a passing car managed to captured the crash on their phone - Chris O'Conner via AP

Mr King said: “The air traffic controller immediately cleared the aircraft to land when the pilot declared that he would not make it to the runway ... [and] attempted a landing on I-75.”

He also confirmed that three people had survived the crash, but the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said a further two people had died on impact.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the plane struck a car and a pickup truck after crashing into the highway.

Emergency services attended the scene and closed off the highway
Emergency services attended the scene and closed off the highway - Andrew West/The News-Press via AP

The plane was operated by the Hop-a-Jet charter aviation carrier, and WPLG, a Miami-based television station, said the flight was ultimately destined for an executive airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the company is based.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the jet took off from Ohio State University Airport in Columbus, with an agency spokesman adding that members of the NTSB’s crash investigation team arrived on the scene within a few hours.