Two dead after aircraft smashes into therapy centre for autistic children

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FLORIDA, United States of America


At least two people have died after a plane crashed into a building containing a therapy centre for young people with autism near Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport in Florida on Saturday afternoon.

Local media reported that a fire broke out following the crash and two passengers travelling in the Cessna 355 were killed

Steven Gollan, spokesman for the Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Department, eight teachers and five children were in the building at the time of the crash.

One teacher suffered minor injuries as she led the children away from the building to safety. She was not taken to hospital.

Authorities have launched an investigation to establish the cause of the crash.

According to Therapy centre Positive Behaviour Supports Corporation said teachers protected the children as the roof collapsed.

Regional director Claudia Axelrod said “front door was on fire and was blocked by the debris”, adding that the teachers stepped in as “the roof caved in on them”.

Axelrod applauded the teachers calling them heroes.

She said: “They acted like heroes. They sure did. We are very thankful. We are very blessed that everybody was able to go to safety.”

According to reports, the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was heading to Hilliard a small town near Jacksonville, Florida.

Authorities have not yet published the names of the deceased victims.