3 Survive After Small Plane Goes Down in Water in Opa-locka

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews responded to a small plane that went down in the water in Opa-locka.

According to the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, the Cherokee PA28 single-engine aircraft departed from Opa-locka Miami Executive Airport at 10:35 a.m. and went down in the water area of 537 Burlington Street very shortly after takeoff.

Two heroes, working at a garage nearby, heard the boom of impact and charged towards it.

"Then all of a sudden we saw a lot of gas coming out and we were in shock. As much gas as we saw coming, we thought for sure the people inside were going to burn," said Leonardo Gonzalez.

"We did the same. We saved these people who were in a very difficult time of their lives. If we didn't make it there, maybe they would have died," Juan Santos Vidal added.

The plane was barely a mile away from the Opa-locka airport, piloted by 72-year-old James Webster. He was flying his friends, a married couple, to their home in Bimini. Flames were seen and then it crashed.

Despite gasoline gushing from the aircraft, the men said they didn't have time to think.

"We didn't think of that at that moment. We just saw people there that could have died. It all depended on a few seconds. There was no time to think. Thank God it didn't get any worse," Gonzalez said.

"There was a guy that was helping take out the lady. She had a bunch of stuff on top of her. She had a chair on top of her. We tried to get her out as soon as possible because of the amount of gas that was leaking," he continued.

The men said the victims were bloody and one man had chest pain, while the woman was bleeding from her head.

"They were conscious and alert but multiple blunt trauma," said Chief Felipe Osaba with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. He said two patients were transported by air rescue, and another was transported by ground, but all are expected to be okay.

A dog, 11-year-old Sugar, was also on board with the passengers. She suffered some cuts and bruises, and a broken bone.

"She's a very lucky dog that she was not injured worse than this," said Dr. Russell Bishop with Broward Animal Hospital

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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