Three people were killed when a small plane crashed on a residential Long Island road lined by homes and schools Tuesday afternoon, authorities say.
Three people were on board the single-engine Beeech BE35 aircraft when it crashed on Cold Spring Road in Syosset just after 2:30 p.m., the FAA says.
Emergency responders have made “three recoveries,” according to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano at the scene.
Despite the “significant debris field” from the crash in the residential area, there were no known injuries on the ground.
Mangano said a may day call from the plane had been picked up in Farmingdale.
The plane was headed to Plainville, Connecticut from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, according to the FAA.
Recordings between responding police officers and dispatch indicate the plane fractured into several pieces.
“I got multiple parts to a plane,” an officer is heard saying in the recordings posted to Broadcastify. “I just found a sneaker… I got like a sneaker… a bag.”
A medic says, “I’ve got a fuselage of one single-engine plane. I see a lot of clothes and another sneaker.”
The stretch of Cold Spring Road is lined by homes and several schools. Melissa Wesley Kessler, a teacher at Berry Hill Elementary School, said she was working inside when she suddenly heard a very loud noise, like a motorcycle revving its engine.
“I didn’t hear a crash or anything, it just sounded like something kind of coming down out of the sky,” she said.
When she walked out, “there were fire engines and pieces of debris partly on our school grounds, across the street, down the block. Pieces of glass, twisted metal.”
“It was really frightening,” she said. “I had a pit in my stomach, it was scary.”
Neighbor Bianco Devito recounted a similar scene.
“I was just sitting in my living room and all of a sudden, I heard a buzzing noise and then a huge boom, sort of like something was being dropped,” she said.
When she ran outside into her backyard, which faces the parking lot of the BOCES Long Island High School for the Arts, she saw a body.
“Oh God, it was terrible. It’s not something you’re expecting to be seeing every day. It was very scary,” she said.
A woman named Nicole told NBC 4 New York she was driving to Southwoods Junior High School to pick up a girl she babysits when something suddenly fell out of the sky, landing about 20 feet in front of her to the right.
“I didn’t know what it was first at all, but it looked like an airplane seat,” she said.
“I had to do a triple take. I couldn’t believe an airplane seat just fell in front of me,” she said.
Nicole said she didn’t know what to make of the “bizarre” incident, especially because she didn’t hear anything, but when she got to the school, “everyone was looking up at the sky and then we kind of found out a little bit after that.”
The schools in the area — including the Long Island High School for the Arts, Berry Hill Elementary Syosset High School, Southwoods Junior and Senior High School and Syosset High School — were locked down immediately after the crash.
Cold Spring Road is closed in both directions between Townsend Road and Chelsea Drive as emergency responders attend to the scene.
The FAA says it will investigate the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause.