A small cargo plane with only the pilot on board crashed Friday along Interstate 95 shortly after taking off from a nearby airport, authorities said. The pilot suffered serious injuries, but no one was hurt on the ground.

The twin-engine Beechcraft crashed around 1:30 p.m. shortly after leaving Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, said city spokesman Chaz Adams.

"The aircraft appeared to not be gaining altitude. The pilot declared a mayday and then went down," said Kathleen Bergen of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Fire trucks were spraying foam on the plane as it sat on the highway's shoulder.

"That obviously was one of the reasons why there are no injuries on the ground. It's not like it went down right in the middle" of the interstate, Adams said.

The pilot was taken to Broward General Medical Center, where he underwent surgery and was in critical condition, said Fort Lauderdale Police spokesman Frank Sousa.

Vehicles were slowly driving by the site as some lanes were closed.

The plane was registered to Broward County-based Monarch Air Group, Bergen said. The company declined to comment