Authorities in Florida have released a 911 call that captures the sheer terror and panic after a plane crashed into a house of people, killing one pilot and leaving a young woman trapped in a bedroom wall.
On Saturday, a UC-1 Twin SeaBee plane being manned by James Wagner, 64, of Lakeland, and Timothy Sheehy, 33, of Bozeman, Montana, had just taken off from Winter Haven's Gilbert Airport around 12:43 p.m. when it suddenly nose-dived into a house just south of the airport, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.
Wagner, the aircraft's instructor pilot, was killed in the crash. Sheehy, a student pilot and ex-Navy SEAL, suffered minor injuries and was able to exit the plane on his own after the crash, police said.
In the 911 call, an unidentified man tells the dispatcher that he's just watched a plane crash during takeoff south of the airport.
"It crashed into a house. ... We gotta get everybody out of the house still," the man told the 911 dispatcher. "We got one lady severely injured."
"Can you get everybody out of the house?" the dispatcher asks.
While the unidentified caller awaits the arrival of emergency services, he tells the dispatcher that he and others are working to rescue a woman who's gotten stuck in the wall.
"The plane's leaking fuel. Stay away from the house," he yells to others. "Get the ambulance here. ... She's breathing."
"I got help on the way," the dispatcher says. "I need you guys to get out of the house."
Carmelle Ngalamulume, 17, was in the bedroom that the plane crashed into and became trapped, police said. Joel Ngalamulume, her brother who was in the next room, tried to free her but was unable to. Their mother, Emerance Ngalamulume, was taking a shower at the time of the crash.
Even though Carmelle Ngalamulume was trapped in the wall, she was eventually freed and not hurt in the crash and neither was Joel Ngalamulume, police said.
Their mother was hospitalized in stable condition, police said.
Three other children -- ages 15, 11 and 2 -- were in the house's front yard at the time of the crash but were also not hurt.
Investigators said the instructor was a highly experienced pilot. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, Polk County authorities said.
It was unclear whether the pair were actually simulating an engine failure at the time of the crash and who was piloting the aircraft, said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd on Sunday.
"Preliminary information is that the pilots were conducting simulated engine failure. It is not known at this time what caused the crash," the office said in a statement released Sunday. "Shortly after take-off, the plane lost power."