A twin-engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff in a Las Vegas suburb, killing two people and starting a fire that destroyed a construction trailer from which a man escaped while suffocating from fuel vapors.
“It was horrible,” said Bruce Langson, the landlord. He said he heard the plane flying low and knew something was wrong.
“I could hear the propeller … It looked like a helicopter,” Langson told reporters. “Then I heard a thud, a meltdown, and a gigantic ball of flame. Fuel was splattered on my construction trailer.”
Captain Thomas Touchstone said two people were on board a Cessna 310R that took off minutes earlier from North Las Vegas Airport. The plane crashed into an iron wall in a desert area about 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) northwest of Henderson Executive Airport.
The race car driver, Langson, described the intense heat caused by the accident, but said he escaped unharmed. He was checked by paramedics after reporting dizziness from fuel fumes. Around Las Vegas, residents saw a plume of smoke billowing.
“There was nothing I could do to help anyone there,” said Langson. “It looked like a movie scene from the worst horror movie I had seen.”
Touchstone said there were no survivors on board. The names of the victims were not immediately released.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was heading to Gillespie Field Airport in El Cajon, California, near San Diego.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the accident.