A deadly plane crash shattered the quaint atmosphere of Lindenhurst, Suffolk County on Sunday afternoon when a single-engine Piper PA 28 slammed into a residential neighborhood. The gruesome accident caused third-degree burns in two individuals, and tragically killed one, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
The tragedy began to unfold at 3 pm near Fifth Street and North Wellwood Avenue when the pilot reported smoke in their cockpit while the plane was approaching Republic Airport, according to a National Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman. Videos captured the sound of a dramatic engine roar, soon followed by an earth-shaking explosion and a ball of fire. Witnesses heard a loud bang that sounded like a car backfiring.
“At first it didn’t really take,” recounted Ken Defreitas—a volunteer with the West Babylon Fire Department—“you know these cars that backfire? That’s what it sounded like.”
Suffolk County Police officers immediately shut down the nearby roads in order to inspect the scene and assess the damage. The crash’s proximity to the Long Island Rail Road caused a service interruption of about an hour, with MTA spokesperson Aaron Donovan warning of “possible residual” delays. Zero people on the ground were harmed in the accident.
The two survivors were taken by Suffolk County Police Department helicopter to Stony Brook Hospital, while Suffolk County Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services handled the aftermath. The Piper PA 28 crash in Lindenhurst serves as a powerful reminder of how quickly an accident can occur and how many people can be affected.