Plane crashes into Publix supermarket in DeLand Florida
Investigators are getting to work to try and figure out what went wrong after a small plane crash landed into a crowded Publix supermarket in DeLand Monday evening.
Investigators estimated around 100 customers were inside the grocery store when the plane crashed right through the roof and into the meat department shortly after 7 p.m. Monday.
The single-engine experimental plane spiraled down and exploded, witnesses said.
Phyllis Gould, who was among the customers inside the Publix when the crash happened, described what she saw and heard:
“Just as I was walking up to the yogurts, I heard a loud boom that sounded like really loud thunder. I happened to look up, and all the ceiling tiles flew out, and I looked over to my right and there was a big huge explosion. And I heard a man yell, ‘A plane just crashed into Publix! Everybody run!’”
“It was like something had exploded in the store,” a shaken Lisa Cordova told the Orlando Sentinel shortly after being released from Florida Hospital DeLand. “The roof just started shaking. All the lights went out. Everybody was just screaming.”
BayNews9 reported on its website that Publix employees saw the pilot and a passenger climb from the plane with their clothing on fire. The report added that a meat-department manager put out the flames and got them out of the store.
Three customers, including Cordova, were hurt, said Dwaine Stevens, a Publix spokesman. The other two were expected to be treated and released, Florida Hospital DeLand spokeswoman Diane Maimone said.