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Florida plane crash kills 3

| Friday, March 15, 2013, 7:27 p.m.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A small plane crashed into a parking lot near a South Florida airport on Friday afternoon, killing all three people onboard and burning about a dozen cars. No one on the ground was hurt.

Fire-Rescue Division Chief John San Angelo said the Piper Navajo, a twin-engine turboprop, reported engine trouble shortly after taking off from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport at about 4:30 p.m.

The plane tried to turn around and make an emergency landing, but it didn't get back to the airport, he said. The plane hit a tree and a fence as it crashed into a parking lot. Seven cars and a boat caught fire.

Television images showed heavy black smoke rising from the crash scene. Later images show a parking lot with vehicles in a corner that are burned-out shells, a smoldering heap covered in foam spread by firefighters on the scene.

“It looks like a junk yard that burned up,” said Matt Little, a spokesman for Fort Lauderdale fire and rescue.

About 40 firefighters were at the scene. San Angelo said smoke and the flames were so heavy that when firefighters first arrived, they couldn't tell where the plane was.

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