FT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Fear and desperation can be heard in the voices of the people who witnessed last Friday’s deadly plane crash in Ft. Lauderdale.

On Wednesday, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department released the taped emergency calls made by numerous people who saw the plane plunge to the ground shortly after taking off from the Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport at 4:20 in the afternoon.

“What just crashed there,” the 9-1-1 dispatcher asked the caller.

“A plane, I see a lot of smoke,” responded the caller.

Three people died in the crash: pilot Steven Waller and his passengers Wally Watson and his son Kevin Watson who ran Avionics Engineering at the airport.

In another call, a woman told the dispatcher she was trying to trying to help.

“You don’t need to be in danger,” the dispatcher told her.

“There are still explosions. I will try to get people out of the buildings,” replied the woman.

The plane came down in a lot just off Powerline Road which is used to store repossessed cars. The aircraft crashed into several cars in the yard. Nearby there were several businesses where people were working.

Smoke from the crash could be seen for miles away. Several callers said they were on I-95.

“He was turning hard. I saw him banking. It’s on fire. I’m still watching,” described another caller.

The National Transportation Safety Board told CBS4 on Tuesday that their preliminary investigation is almost complete. They are reviewing the maintenance records of the private plane, the pilot’s history and airport tower transmissions.

They expect to issue an initial report on what went wrong early next week.


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