2 dead after private jet crashes onto Florida highway

FLORIDA (AFP): Two people were killed Friday when a private jet lost its engines and crashed onto a highway in Florida, authorities said.

Five people were aboard the Bombardier Challenger 600 when it went down about 3:15 pm (2015 GMT) on Interstate 75 near the small city of Naples, the  Federal Aviation Administration said on X, formerly Twitter.

Two minutes before the plane was scheduled to land at Naples Municipal Airport, the pilot radioed air traffic control to say “he had lost both engines and requested an emergency landing,” airport spokesperson Robin King told AFP in a statement.

“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.”

Three people survived the crash, King said. The two victims died on impact, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.

It was not known if the plane hit any cars on the highway.

Images broadcast on local media showed the burning wreckage of the plane on the side of the highway, setting off  black plumes of smoke.

It had departed from Ohio State University Airport, King said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.