1 Dead, 1 wonded in plane crash near Connecticut River

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Authorities say one person is dead and another is injured after a small airplane crashed near the Connecticut River on Tuesday. The Hartford Courant reports that a Cessna took off from Hartford’s Brainard Airport on Tuesday with a student pilot and an instructor on board. It struck a utility pole in East Hartford and crashed around 4 p.m., bursting into flames.

Police say the plane’s pilot was taken to a hospital with serious burns and that the passenger was still in the wreckage and presumed dead. Police did not identify either person.

The Piper PA 34 twin-engine plane crashed on Main Street in East Hartford at around 3:30 p.m., according to the deputy police chief. Main Street was shut down between Brown Street and Ensign Street. Drivers were being asked to avoid the area, CBS affiliate WFSB reports.

Police said Main Street will be closed between Willow Street Extension and Ensign Street until further notice.

There were two men on board the plane when it crashed, according to police. One occupant was taken to St. Francis Hospital. The other person was reported to be unaccounted for on Tuesday afternoon, however police said that person has died.

Two people were in a nearby car when the plane crashed on Main Street, police said. Authorities said the car occupants were traumatized from the crash and were taken to the hospital. The car they were in was never hit by the plane.

Officials said the plane originated from a local flight school. The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft was on final approach to a runway at Brainard Airport.

On Tuesday evening, police said the surviving occupant of the plane is expected to survive. He is awake and speaking with investigators.

“As far as the occupants of the plane, he is expected to survive. He is cooperating with investigators he’s actually speaking with detectives as part of this investigation as ongoing,” said East Hartford Police Lt. Josh Litwin.

The NTSB and the FAA will have a joined investigation. The FBI was also at the scene on Tuesday.

Eversource crews were called to scene of the crash and were working to reroute power in the area. At one point, more than 500 customers were without power.

The remaining number of outages, which will be isolated right to the area of the crash and where the lines came down, will take longer to restore. Eversource crews need to wait for investigators to give them the OK to begin making repairs.

Following the crash, Pratt & Whitney officials said it doesn’t appear any Pratt & Whitney employees or contractors were involved in the crash, and there was no impact to the company’s operation in East Hartford.

“We are aware of the incident that occurred this afternoon on Main Street. Our thoughts are with the people affected. It does not appear at this time that any Pratt & Whitney employees or contractors were involved. Additionally, there is no impact to our operation here in East Hartford other than restricted traffic flow to the facility’s main entrance on Main Street. We stand ready to assist local officials as needed. Additional queries should be directed to the appropriate local officials,” the statement from Pratt & Whitney said.

Officials from the United States Postal Service said no USPS employees or vehicles were struck, however officials said they believe a collection box where customers drop their outgoing mail may have been.

Traffic along I-84 and Route 2 in East Hartford was impacted because of the plane crash.

Part of Route 2 was shut down at one point, but it has since reopened after the crash. Exit 55 off Interstate 84 reopened as well as westbound side of Route 2.

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