COVINGTON, Ga. - Officials said there were no survivors aboard a small plane that crashed into the General Mills plant in Covington early Thursday evening.
Captain Ken Malcom with the Covington Police Department said around 6:45 p.m. a twin-engine Cessna appeared to start having engine trouble. Witnesses told police it traveled northeast, but appeared to be having trouble gaining altitude and was making unusual engine noises. Malcom said the plane then veered right and came straight down onto an isolated area of the plant where tractor trailers are stored.
Police said the plane appeared to explode on impact. Witnesses said there were a series of small explosions after the crash. About six trailers that were parked together and believed to be mostly empty caught fire and were damaged after the crash.
"We saw what we believe is a wing and possibly a part of an engine, but again it's a lot charred metal back there right now," said Malcom.
The captain said that investigators are still not sure how many were on the flight, but that no one survived.
Police said late Thursday crews were able to recover one body, but the other body was still in the wreckage.
"We are working on a lead to determine who the victims were in the crash," the captain said.
No one on the ground was injured due to the crash.
"The fact that it didn’t crash into the plant, saved many lives," Malcom said.
A massive dark plume of smoke could be seen rise above the Georgia city located about 30 miles southeast of Atlanta.
Photos provided to FOX 5 Atlanta shows a plume of thick heavy smoke coming from the plant and several tractor trailers damaged. Fire crews could be seen extinguishing the blaze.
The plant located at 15200 Industrial Park Blvd. NE. It is about eight-tenths of a mile southeast of the eastern edge of the runway at Covington Municipal Airport.
While police initially believed the flight took off from the nearby airport, data from FlightAware suggests the flight was inbound and may have trouble landing.
The actually crash site at the plant is about 300 feet away from the plant.
Officials say a plane crashed into the General Mills plant in Covington, Georgia on April 21, 2022. (Chris McSwain)
Police said crews will be on the scene all night working to secure and investigate the crash.
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the FAA and NTSB.
The crash site is about 30 miles southeast of Atlanta.
The General Mills plant produces cereal.