PACOIMA (CBSLA) – A single-engine Cessna 172 went down on train tracks next to Whiteman Airport in Pacoima on Sunday and sent the pilot to the hospital.
“I was walking my dog,” said Rocio Duran, a witness. “I saw the police go and saw that the plane was down.”
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The pilot was the only occupant on board and was pulled off the plane by spectators before firefighters arrived around 2:10 p.m. Sunday, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Bureau tweeted, “… The plane lost power, crashed into tracks, #LAPD pulled the pilot out just before the approaching train collided with the unoccupied plane.”
“When we realized the train was coming at full speed down the rails, we knew we had to find a way to get him out, otherwise he would die,” said LAPD officer Robert Sherock.
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The pilot was taken to a trauma center by LAFD paramedics. He was treated for cuts and bruises and is in stable condition.
No other injuries were reported and there was no fire, according to the LAFD. A minor fuel spill was contained by firefighters.
The damaged aircraft remained on or near the Metrolink Antelope Valley train tracks and all train movement was restricted in this area, the LAFD added.
One or more lanes of San Fernando Road and Osborne Street were closed in the area while crews investigated the accident and performed cleanup operations.
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The pilot has not yet been identified. No other injuries were reported.