A private aircraft was forced to initiate a crash landing over the weekend in a residential section of Stow, Massachusetts, but authorities say the incident could have been much worse.
Reports indicate three people were onboard the single-engine Cessna 182 airplane when it went down early Sunday afternoon. First responders were dispatched to the scene and found the plane between two homes in a wooded area of the town.
— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) July 23, 2023
All three occupants survived and there were no injuries reported among those in the nearby residences. While one of the individuals in the plane was able to walk away from the crash, the other two required assistance from paramedics in order to be removed from the wreckage.
The three individuals were transported to a nearby airfield — where the plane had taken off — and subsequently airlifted via medical helicopter to a hospital in Worcester. None had injuries believed to be life-threatening.
One airfield employee described the incident as “a forced landing,” but early reports did not include any information about a possible cause.
Local law enforcement were tasked with investigating the situation, aided by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.
The plane reportedly grazed one home and came to rest near an area in the yard where the children living in the home typically play.
“We had never heard it before, loud boom and I think as soon as we ran out here and saw the leaves flying everywhere like someone had just shaved the tops of all the trees,” Tye Morancy recalled. “When I got over there, there were people moaning and yelling.”
He said that he remained at the scene until first responders arrived.
“I could feel that fear,” he added. “The seatbelt has this person trapped and I am just thinking cut that, move that, break that off, throw that out of the way, and then I heard the sirens and I couldn’t be more thankful for that sound.”
The town’s fire chief and police chief released a joint statement later in the day in order to publicly “recognize the professional work of the departments at the scene.”