4 dead after small plane crashes in southwest Miami-Dade County

Twin-engine Beechcraft 1900 took off from Miami Executive Airport

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Four people are dead after a small plane crashed Wednesday in southwest Miami-Dade County.

The crash occurred in a field near Southwest 177th Avenue and Southwest 142nd Street about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday.

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Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokeswoman Michelle Fayed told Local 10 News that the twin-engine Beechcraft 1900 took off from nearby Miami Executive Airport. She said the plane broke apart in the crash.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the plane was en route to the Turks and Caicos and was trying to return to the airport when it crashed. She said the plane wasn't registered in the U.S.

Miami-Dade Aviation Department spokesman Greg Chin said the pilot reported that one engine had failed shortly before the crash.

The plane struck a power pole as it was going down, knocking out electricity in the area. Florida Power & Light said 537 customers were affected.

"I believe the pilot was probably attempting to just put the airplane down in the most obstruction-free location," veteran pilot Michael Coviello told Local 10.

The crash site was about 100 yards from a home.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Arnold Piedrahita said there were no survivors.

Someone claiming to be a family friend of the victims told Local 10 that they were in South Florida on business. She said they were picking up plane parts and were believed to be returning to Venezuela.

A witness said he was driving on Southwest 144th Street when he saw the plane losing altitude.

"If he had made it over those wires he might have been able to land, but he clipped that pole and that's when he lost control and crashed into that fence, and it was just a ball of fire after that," the man, who declined to give his name, told Local 10.

Piedrahita said the plane was carrying about 500 gallons of fuel.

The crash caused havoc for drivers along Krome Avenue, which was expected to be closed from Southwest 136th to Southwest 168th streets until Thursday morning.

Air traffic control recordings reveal that a pilot of another plane saw the smoke from the air.

"I'm sure you guys see it. There is a large black cloud of smoke coming from about five miles west of you guys," the pilot told air traffic control.

"Yeah, we know," traffic control replied.

Clara Arcia described hearing the crash and walking out to see the plane on fire.

"I yelled at my husband, 'Our neighbor's house is burning,'" Arcia said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

Follow Local 10 News on Twitter @WPLGLocal10

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