Two people and a dog were rescued by good Samaritans after their plane crashed into the Quinnipiac River in New Haven, officials said.
City officials said two occupants and a dog were on board. They’re all out of the plane and were brought ashore to a local boatyard.
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said the plane originated from Florida and had just stopped in Woodbine, New Jersey.
Authorities said the plane was in route to New Bedford, Massachusetts, when the engine started to sputter. The aircraft operator spoke with tower operations and were told to try and land at Tweed Airport in New Haven, but they felt they couldn’t make it there and landed in the river instead.
A man, woman and dog were all aboard the plane and good Samaritans helped get them out. The Samaritans were on a sandbar in the river at the time of the crash and were in close proximity to help the passengers, according to officials.
Assistant Fire Chief Justin McCarthy said the call came in around 5:20 p.m. Once the passengers got to shore, crews evaluated them. The man and woman are shaken up from the incident, but officials said they’re going to be okay.
Authorities said they’re primarily focused on the environmental impact at this time. There were about 55 gallons of fluid on the plane when it crashed.
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials said the plane is currently positioned on protected oyster beds.
“Its exact location has been recorded, and floating bags will be applied so that it can be moved from the oyster beds and towed to a nearby dock, where the FAA and NTSB can conduct their investigation,” a DEEP spokesperson said.
A small amount of fuel leaked out from the breather vent, but DEEP officials said the environmental impact is deemed minimal. There are sorbent booms in place and ready to be deployed, according to the spokesperson.
There is still an active scene in the area of 750 Quinnipiac Ave. near the Grand Avenue Bridge.
Officials said it was a single engine aircraft that crashed in the river.
The FAA and U.S. Coast Guard were called in and are responding to the scene. New Haven fire and police also remain at the scene and expect to be there for most of the night.
Firefighters deployed airbags to help lift the plane up off the sandbar. With an abundance of crews in the area, officials said they’ll be able to immediately catch any leaks that might occur.
Crews are hoping to secure and move the plane to the side of the river. They don’t expect to remove it until Friday.