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Article On Yesterday's Miami Plane Crash

Fri Dec 07, 2001 10:09 pm

Twin-engine plane crashes along beach
SUNNY ISLES BEACH, Fla. -- (AP) -- A twin engine cargo plane crash landed in shallow Atlantic waters just off the beach in this resort town north of Miami Beach and both people on board survived with only minor injuries, police said.

The Trans Air Unit plane went down with apparent engine trouble before 11 p.m. EST Thursday in rough surf and was pushed by waves up against the beach, said Sunny Isles Police Chief Fred Moss.

The pilot and co-pilot, the only people on the plane, first held onto the semi-submerged plane's wing, then made for shore with help by police and firefighters.

The pair suffered ``only minor cuts and scratches,'' police said, and were taken to Aventura Hospital for treatment.

The plane's tail section and other wing sections broke off in the emergency landing and later through a night's pounding by heavy surf.

Both survivors were doing well early Friday, though no official medical conditions were listed, according to Beverly Fuller, the nursing supervisor on duty.

Jorge Perez, 43, was in the hospital's intensive care unit for observation.

``He's very alert, he's joking around up there and he seems to be doing just fine,'' she said.

Alex Sanso, 36, was still in the emergency room, ``though he appeared to be the less seriously hurt,'' according to the supervisor.

The plane had taken off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport about 15 miles to the north and was heading for Opa-locka Airport about 10 miles to the west, according to Sgt. R. Thomas Hopkins, a police spokesman.

Boaters and beachgoers were asked to stay away from the area where the plane went down, to facilitate things for investigators and salvers working the scene and checking for any fuel leaks.

The Coast Guard, Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board also were investigating, said Hopkins.