updated 8/5/2005 12:15:05 AM ET 2005-08-05T04:15:05

Two small planes collided Thursday over this Seattle suburb, with one crashing into an empty school, killing both people aboard, police said. The second plane landed safely at a nearby airport.

The collision between the single-engine Cessna 152 and a float plane happened at about 5:45 p.m. as the planes were approaching the Renton airport, located at the south end of Lake Washington.

“Both aircraft were coming in from the north ... and were pretty much side by side,” said Federal Aviation Administration duty officer Karen Byrd in Seattle.

The Cessna crashed into the two-story Kennydale Elementary School, which was closed for remodeling after classes ended in June, police spokeswoman Penny Bartley said. Construction crews had left for the day when the plane crashed.

The float plane touched down on a runaway at the Renton airport, ending up parked in a grassy area. There were no reports of injuries to the five people aboard, but fire trucks were monitoring fuel leaking from the aircraft.

Fred Bahr, the float plane’s pilot, told KING-TV there was little warning before the collision. “All of a sudden I just saw a red and white flash just go under us, and that’s all I saw,” he said.

The impact “literally just relocated the floats to the right. They were at about a 30-degree angle,” he added. “It’s kind of strange when you look outside there to see a float and you don’t see one.”

At that point, passenger Lee McEachron told KING, “the pilot made the decision it was not safe to land on the water so we opted to put it on the grass. Everybody got out fine.”

The float plane circled the Renton tower so airport officials could assess damage before it came in for a landing.

The airport, about 25 minutes south of downtown Seattle, is used mostly by small aircraft.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments