Small plane makes forced landing on Bronx highway

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A small plane with apparent engine trouble made a forced landing Saturday on a busy highway in the Bronx, injuring three people, authorities said.


The 1966 Piper PA-28-180 aircraft landed about 3:20 p.m near the East 233rd Street exit on the Major Deegan Expressway, authorities said.


It appears the single-engine plane avoided cars on the normally busy highway that connects the Bronx with Westchester County, said police spokeswoman Annette Markowski.


The sight of a small plane on its belly near the snowy edge of the highway surprised passing motorists.

\"It didn't look like it crashed or hit any cars,\" said Patricia Sapol, 29, who was driving south on the highway with her husband shortly after the landing. \"It didn't look damaged in anyway. It was remarkable, to be quite honest.\"


She added, \"We're like, Is this really happening? There's a plane on the highway. It was pretty neat. You don't see that every day.\"


Police said there were three people on board: the pilot and two passengers.


The three were were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital, fire department spokesman Frank Dwyer said.


A hospital spokesman, Steve Clark, said one man and two women were transported. Two refused treatment and a woman was treated for a minor head injury, he said. The three were to be discharged.


Fire officials initially said the three suffered serious injuries.


Images from the scene showed the small plane on the highway, surrounded by emergency vehicles and first responders.


There was no immediate information about damage to the aircraft or traffic on the highway at the time of the landing, authorities said.


The northbound lanes on the Major Deegan -- where the plane landed -- were closed until about 6 p.m., police said.


The plane is registered to a resident of Westchester County.

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