MANCHESTER, N.H. – A small cargo plane with only the pilot on board crashed into a Wal-Mart Tuesday. The pilot was hurt but able to walk away from the crash, and there were no reports of injuries on the ground.
"I just saw a huge ball of smoke go up," said Maria Kosmakata, who was driving to her job at a nearby car dealership.
The twin-engine Embraer had just taken off from Manchester Airport, about 1 mile from the store, when it hit the Wal-Mart garden center at 7:20 a.m., said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Murray.
The pilot, Paul Seyler-Schmidt, 32, of Bangor, Maine, was helped away from the wreckage by workers at the car dealership and was taken to a hospital. His condition was not immediately available.
"Reports are that he's conscious, that he knows what's going on, that he's asked for his wife," said Robin Outwater of AirNow, the Bennington, Vt.-based company that operates the plane. "He seems to be doing just fine."
Rick Osgood, who works at the car dealership and was at the crash, said Seyler-Schmidt walked away from the wreckage but appeared hurt, with blood on his head and an injured leg.
The plane, carrying cargo for United Parcel Service, was bound for Bangor, officials said.
Jim Hill, who lives near the airport, said it seemed like the plane tried re-approach airport after taking off when it struck the Wal-Mart store.
The store was evacuated after the crash, and there were no known injuries on the ground.