Lakeland, Fla. firefighters responded to the scene of a fiery plane crash this morning. According to The Daily Ridge, the plane crashed into a warehouse in Lakeland and went up in flames. The building it crashed into also caught fire.
Further details on the Lakeland plane crash
News 4 Jax reports that the building the plane crashed into was once a plastics warehouse. Officials confirmed that the crash did spark a fire in the building. Aerial video from the scene shows a huge hole in the warehouse’s roof and smoke pouring from the structure. There was no one inside the warehouse when the plane crashed into it.
Some witnesses reported seeing the plane explode when it hit the building, which is owned by Key Safety Systems. Officials could not confirm there was a plane crash at first because the fire was too intense, but the Federal Aviation Administration later confirmed it for local media outlets.
Hazmat situation declared in Lakeland
ABC Action News reports that officials declared a hazmat situation after the plane crash. They said the warehouse was not occupied at the time of the crash and that it was storing chemicals and powdered aluminum. One of those being stored in the building is nitroguanidine, a chemical that’s used in airbags and which is explosive when it is dry.
Firefighters have been unable to enter the building, initially because of the intensity of the fire and after it was contained because of the hazmat situation. It’s believed that two people were onboard the plane, which officials have said came from a flight school located at Lakeland Regional Airport.
Witnesses said the airplane appeared to be “sputtering” before it crashed into the warehouse. Then it started to fall and was reportedly “doing circles on its way down” before nose-diving into a field and then crashing into the warehouse.