One person was killed and five others were injured when a small plane crash-landed on a bridge in Miami Saturday afternoon, hitting an SUV and bursting into flames.
The plane went down shortly before 1 p.m. on the Haulover Inlet Bridge near the 10800 block of Collins Avenue. Smoke from the plane's wreckage could be seen for miles.
Federal Aviation Administration officials said there were three people on board the single-engine Cessna 172 when it lost engine power and crashed, hitting a vehicle with three people inside.
Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said the plane was involved in a head-on crash with the SUV, which caused the plane to flip over.
When fire rescue crews responded, they found the plane on fire and quickly extinguished the flames, officials said.
"We had three Miami-Dade Fire Rescue lifeguards who were on the scene first and started assisting patients," fire rescue spokesperson Erika Benitez said. "Within just a few minutes several other units arrived and when they arrived they did see an aircraft down in flames, in addition to a vehicle that had been hit by the aircraft."
Zabaleta said two people were able to get out of the plane, but after the fire was put out, the body of the victim was found in the wreckage.
The victim has been identified as 36-year-old Narciso Torres, a veteran air traffic controller who worked at the Miami Air Traffic Control Tower.
"This is a terrible tragedy that has sent shock waves throughout our NATCA (National Air Traffic Controllers Association) family," NATCA President Rich Santa said.
Fire rescue officials said there were five people injured, including two who were on the plane and were taken to a local hospital with traumatic injuries. One of them was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center and the other was taken by the ground to Jackson North Medical Center.
Officials haven't released the identities of any of the others involved in the incident.
Footage from the scene showed the wreckage of the plane in the middle of the roadway. The vehicle involved, a dark red or maroon SUV, could be seen with severe front-end damage.
A woman and two young kids, 2 and 6, who were in the SUV were hospitalized but didn't suffer serious injuries, Zabaleta said.
"It is miraculous that you're traveling in a vehicle, you know, the driver with the two toddlers, and you [suffer a] head-on collision with an aircraft and everybody's ok, so we're thankful for that but it's still unfortunate that we did lose somebody on this scene," Zabaleta said.
The plane had departed from Fort Lauderdale International Airport and was headed to Key West International Airport, FAA officials said.
The Haulover Inlet Bridge on Collins Avenue was closed between Sunny Isles Beach and Bal Harbour, according to authorities. Southbound Collins Avenue is closed at 158th Street.
Traffic was being diverted, and drivers were advised to seek an alternate route and expect heavy delays.
Officials said the Department of Environmental Resources Management was notified due to fuel runoff from the plane.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the incident.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.