Small plane crash kills 2 in Detroit as witnesses rescue pilot

The third person on board, the pilot, appears to have survived.

June 25, 2018, 3:26 AM

Two people died Sunday near Detroit Coleman A. Young International Airport when a Cessna 210 crashed and exploded.

The third person on board, the pilot, appeared to have escaped the wreckage with help from witnesses, according to ABC Detroit affiliate WXYZ.

The pilot had reported having a problem with the plane's landing gear and was low on fuel short before the accident, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Both the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash. The NTSB is expected to release a preliminary report within 10 days.

As the plane descended, it hit a tree and flipped over, catching fire, said Capt. Mark Thornton of the Detroit Police Department. No one on the ground was injured, and no buildings were damaged.

"Courageous" witnesses were able to help pull the pilot free, Thornton said. The pilot appeared to be coherent and was sent to Detroit Receiving Hospital for treatment.

Witnesses told police that the people who helped free the pilot used baseball bats to break glass in order to reach him inside the burning wreckage.

Neither person who died in the crash has been identified, pending notification of their families.