Clearwater crash
The plane hit one home and the crash left at least three homes with fire damage, although the fire was quickly doused, Clearwater Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said at a news conference. Image Credit: Courtesy of Clearwater Fire & Rescue Department/X

Florida: Several fatalities were reported on Thursday after a small plane crashed into and demolished a mobile home in Clearwater, Florida, officials said.

Images posted online by the Clearwater Fire & Rescue Department showed flames and smoke billowing from the destroyed home.

"I can confirm that we have several fatalities both from the aircraft and within" the mobile home the plane crashed into, Clearwater Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said in a press briefing late on Thursday. He did not give the exact number of fatalities.

The pilot had radioed in a Mayday distress call, Ehlers said earlier.

The aircraft, a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza V35, crashed into the residential area after the pilot reported an engine failure, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson was quoted as saying by CNN.

It was not clear how many people were on the plane.

One person on the ground also received a minor injury and refused treatment, said Ehlers, who said the pilot was dead, according to reports from the scene.

In all, four homes were damaged in the mobile home park where the crash occurred, he said.

"A mobile home doesn't withstand much in the first place, so the aircraft pretty much demolished it. The fire consumed the rest," Ehlers said.

Neighbor Steven Ascari, who posted video of the scene on social media, said first responders arrived quickly and put out the flames within half an hour.

"We heard an explosion outside that shook the entire apartment and next thing you know a giant pillar of smoke was seen," Ascari said.

Clearwater is a city of about 117,000 people on the Gulf Coast about 24 miles (40 km) west of Tampa.

Fire officials said the first call came in at 7:08 p.m. EST on Thursday (0008 GMT on Friday).