FBI investigates ‘intentional’ Connecticut plane crash

New York: The FBI is investigating an “intentional” crash of a small plane in Connecticut that killed a Jordanian student and injured an American flight instructor, officials and US media said today.

The plane exploded in a fire ball yesterday in East Hartford, about 192 kilometers northeast of New York. The flight instructor, who survived the crash, told investigators it was not an accident, The New York Times reported.

The dead person was identified as trainee pilot, Feras Freitekh, 28, who the Times said was Jordanian. He was issued a private pilot certificate last year and certified to fly a single-engine plane, the newspaper said.

The doomed Piper PA-34 was on its final approach to East Hartford airport when it crashed, knocking out power lines, US media reported.

“The crash is the result of an intentional act,” the National Transportation Safety Board said today.

“The NTSB is in the process of transferring the lead for the investigation from NTSB to the FBI,” it added.

Local police said the plane crashed near Pratt and Whitney, an aerospace company that manufactures engines for military and commercial aircraft.

The company has 33,500 employees worldwide and generated revenues of USD 14 billion last year, according to its website.

Lieutenant Josh Litwin of East Hartford police told reporters that FBI investigators were combing the crash site.

“Now that they have arrived on scene, they are investigating. No situation is being ruled out, no circumstances are being ruled out,” Litwin said.

Television footage showed the plane’s wreckage in flames on the street.

“It was like a movie scene,” one witness told NBC television.