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At least 2 dead after small plane crashes into vehicle, bursts into flames on I-75 in Naples, Florida

Small jet crashes on I-75 near Naples, Florida, bursts into flames. (WPLG)
Small jet crashes on I-75 near Naples, Florida, bursts into flames. (WPLG)

At least two people have died after a small plane crashed on Interstate 75 in Collier County, Fla., collided with a vehicle and burst into flames, authorities said Friday afternoon.

The aircraft was flying from Columbus, Ohio to the Naples Airport on its way to Fort Lauderdale, said Robin King, the director of communication with The Naples Airport Authority, in a statement to the Naples Daily News.

Five people were onboard the Bombardier Challenger 600 when the jet crashed on I-75 near Naples around 3:15 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a news release. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed at least two people died in the crash.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation, the plane landed on the southbound lanes of I-75, just before mile marker 106, near Pine Ridge Road. The incident created a massive explosion and closed all I-75 lanes in the area.

At least one vehicle was hit by the plane. Video taken by a traveler on the northbound lanes appears to show a thick, dark smoke cloud where the crash occurred.

In a recording between the pilot and the control tower, which was reported by local television station WBBH, the pilot can be heard calling in an emergency, and then saying the plane might not be able to make it to Naples Airport.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident. A preliminary incident report is usually available “the next business day,” the FAA said.

Troopers are asking drivers to please avoid the area and seek an alternate route.