The Tampa Police Communications Center was inundated with dozens of 911 calls this afternoon as witnesses reported the crash of a charter plane about a mile from Tampa International Airport. The crash occurred at approximately 1:24 p.m. on Friday, December 18, 2020.
Tampa International Airport Police and Tampa Fire Rescue personnel were also dispatched to the scene. Tampa Police officers, nearby on proactive patrol, arrived within two minutes to find the Piper Cherokee 140 fully engulfed in flames.
The three adult male occupants, injured, were already outside of the plane when the officer arrived. The men are ages 58, 24, and 23.
The pilot reported emergency engine failure to the tower prior to the crash.
As it descended, immediately prior to the crash, the plane clipped wires and a power pole along the intersection. No structures impacted.
The three occupants of the plane were transported to Tampa General Hospital as a trauma alert.
They are currently listed in critical, but stable, condition.
All suffered second to third degree burns. Two of the occupants sustained broken bones. The third occupant is still being medically evaluated.
Tampa Electric Company (TECO) quickly responded to make repairs and restore power to the area.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will take the lead in the investigation to determine the cause of the crash and will provide any further updates.