Video shows a dramatic moment when people pulled a man and a woman to safety from burning plane wreckage.
The acts of courage took place on Friday during the morning commute, when a twin-engine Cessna 310 crashed on Interstate 405 near John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. The plane’s two occupants, a man and a woman in their 50s and 60s, were taken to a local hospital with ‘traumatic injuries’, according to Orange County Fire Capt Larry Kurtz.
The new video was shot by commuter Mirza Baig as he advanced the flaming wreckage in the opposite lanes. Baig pulls over and runs across the approaching traffic to the wreckage, where two other men are seen pulling the bloodied male pilot to safety.
Nearby, a woman with head injuries is seen being tended to by other commuters, including a man who removes his shirt to use as a compress on her wounds.
‘Is there anyone else in the plane?’ someone shouts, and the pilot feebly indicates no.
A safe distance away from the plane, one Good Samaritan cuts off the pilot’s shirt to check for injuries, as others remove his shoes to check his ability to wiggle his toes.
Officials have said shortly after the fixed-wing plane left John Wayne Airport, the pilot declared an emergency and tried to return.
In an online recording of air traffic control radio communications, the male pilot can be heard yelling: ‘We have a mayday! We have a mayday!
‘I’m trying to get a little altitude. I just lost my right engine!’
Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the FAA, said the crash is still being investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and some conditions surrounding it remain ‘unknown’.
The Cessna 310, which was manufactured in 1975, was registered two days ago to Twin Props LLC in Santa Ana, according to FAA records. The six-seat plane clipped a blue pickup truck as it crashed on the freeway, but the driver suffered only a bruised elbow, Kurtz said.
‘The fact that a plane was able to land and only strike a single vehicle is extraordinary,’ Kurtz said.
Video posted on social media shows the plane consumed in flames and clouds of black smoke rising into the sky. Traffic was backed up for miles on the major route between Los Angeles and San Diego as fire crews worked to extinguish the blaze.