TAMPA, Fla. – One person was killed and another seriously injured after a small plane crashed Monday into a home in an upscale island neighborhood, authorities said.
The plane crashed shortly before 1 p.m. into a home on Davis Island south of Tampa, Fire Department Capt. Bill Wade said. Although authorities said it was not clear if both victims were on the plane, a woman whose house was hit survived and said no one else was home.
"I saw a plane hit our house — the flash, the gas and flames," said Cynthia Tate, a 44-year-old hairstylist huddling under an umbrella across the street from her still smoking home.
"My whole house is gone," she said, crying as she thought her two dogs and cat were killed. "I was blessed today, but I couldn't save my animals."
She ran out of the house, which faces Peter O. Knight Airport, and saw a man come running out of the flames. "He started rolling on my lawn," she said. "I guess he was the pilot."
The area was experiencing heavy rains due to approaching Tropical Storm Alberto, but it was not immediately clear if weather was a contributing factor.
The private plane crashed as it was attempting to take off from the airport located on the island, Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said. The National Transportation Safety Board would be brought in to investigate, she said.
"It's too early to say what caused it," McElroy said.