‘Get out!’ — 911 tape of plane hitting Fla. store
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A man is heard yelling “Get out! Get out!” in 911 tapes released Tuesday from the crash of a small experimental plane into a Florida grocery store that left five people injured.
Emergency dispatch tapes captured the panic as customers fled the store Monday evening. The plane plunged through the roof of a Publix supermarket in DeLand, about 40 miles north of Orlando.
“Publix is on fire!” a woman from inside the supermarket said in a 911 call. “The store is on fire! OK. We got to go.”
Three customers were hurt, and two people aboard the plane were hospitalized in Orlando. All of the injuries came from burns, said Luke Schiada, an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board.
The amphibious Sea Wind 3000 plane encountered problems shortly after taking off from the DeLand Municipal Airport, less than two miles from the shopping center. Investigators weren’t sure where the plane was heading.
One 911 caller said the engine began sputtering.
“The next thing you know, it went down nose first,” she said.
The plane is made of composite material and was amateur-built in 2002. It seats four people but only two people from Illinois were aboard, said Schiada.
DeLand Police spokesman Lt. Jack Waples identified the men as Kim Presbrey and Thomas Rhoades.
Fire consumed most of the plane, which plunged through the roof and landed between two aisles in the middle of the store. The plane didn’t have a black box but investigators may be able to use the plane’s GPS system to learn more about what happened, Schiada said.
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