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'Horrific': Experimental plane crashes into Florida grocery store

Peter Bauer /The Daytona Beach News-Journal via AP

An experimental plane crashed into a supermarket at a Florida shopping center Monday evening.

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET: Shoppers at a Florida supermarket shouted "Get Out! Get Out!" and "Publix is on fire!" when a small experimental plane crashed through the roof Monday evening, 911 audio reports released Tuesday show. Five people were injured with burns as fire shot through the roof and into the store.

Fire officials said the injured include three shoppers and the two people on the plane, both of whom were hospitalized.

"It was horrific," Randy Felix, told The Daytona Beach News-Journal. "When I turned around, I saw the ceiling caving in. Once the tiles were down, there was just pure fire and then the fire was propelled towards the doors almost to the cash registers."


Felix, who had just finished ordering at the deli, told The News-Journal that he saw a young man running toward him with his legs burned.

Calls to 911 said the single-engine plane showed signs of trouble moments before it hit the roof of the DeLand, Fla., supermarket of the Publix chain.

Listen to 911 audio of the crash and aftermath via KJXT-TV

"I was sitting on my back porch and I just heard a big explosion," one man who lives nearby told NBC affiliate WESH.com. "I came out to see what it was and saw the smoke billowing out of the top of Publix."

WESH.com reported that the plane was an amphibious experimental aircraft that took off from DeLand Municipal Airport and suffered engine failure.

The crash occurred at the Northgate Shopping Center in the 200 block of International Speedway Boulevard, a half-mile from the DeLand Municipal Airport, about 7:30 p.m.

The plane crashed in the back of the store, near the meat department, but those up front said they could still feel the heat from the fire, WESH.com reported.

Amanda Carr was checking out when the plane crash occurred.

"The lights went out and the building shook," Carr told the News-Journal. "I just saw a big ball of fire burning in the middle of the store, and I ran out."

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