A twin-engine Cessna plane crashed into the General Mills plant in Covington, Georgia, on Thursday and killed everyone on board. Covington Police Captain Ken Malcom said the plane left the Covington Municipal Airport at about 6:45 pm and then crashed a mile away at about 7:05 pm.
Citing eyewitnesses, Malcom said the plane appeared to develop engine problems midair and began to zigzag before veering to one side and then coming down at the General Mills plant. The plane crashed at a section of the facility that is used to store tractor-trailers and not where employees worked.
The police captain said, although the authorities are still working to determine the number and names of persons aboard the plane, the casualties would have been higher if the plane had come down at the section where employees worked. He reported that several trailers caught fire on impact with the plane, and fire officers were working to put out the fire.
“We saw what we believe is a wing and possibly a part of an engine, but again it’s a lot of charred metal back there right now,” Malcom said. “The fact that it didn’t crash into the plant, saved many lives. We are working on a lead to determine who the victims were in the crash.”
A spokesman for General Mills confirmed the plane incident, adding that the company is collaborating with law enforcement agencies to investigate the matter. Fire personnel battled the fire several hours after the crash and were able to prevent it from spreading further, but thick plumes of smoke covered the area and could be seen from a long-distance away.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the plane crash.