FBI Joins Investigation Of Fatal Plane Crash In Connecticut

The plane, which crashed in the street, was supposed to land at Hartford-Brainard Airport.

The FBI is investigating a plane crash that occurred on the streets of East Hartford, Connecticut, on Tuesday afternoon, killing a passenger and leaving the pilot injured.

East Hartford Police Chief Scott Sansom requested the help of federal investigators in the probe because the crash happened close to the corporate headquarters of Pratt & Whitney, a jet engine maker that Sansom called “critical infrastructure,” according to The Associated Press.

The pilot, who was interviewed by authorities, reportedly said that the crash was not an accident. The National Transportation Safety Board doubled down on Wednesday, stating that the initial investigation “indicates the crash is the result of an intentional act.” Local authorities said there is “no clear indiction of a motive” and that they’re “not drawing any conclusions.”

The deceased passenger was identified as Feras M. Freitekh, 28. The New York Times reports that he had lived in Orland Hills, Illinois, about 35 miles southwest of Chicago. Public records show that he was issued a private pilot certificate on May 29, 2015.

The Piper PA-34 aircraft was on its final approach to Hartford-Brainard Airport when it struck a utility pole and wires about 20 miles out, leaving the area without power.

Photos on social media Tuesday showed the plane engulfed in flames on Main Street shortly after the 3:45 p.m. crash. The pilot was taken to a hospital with serious burns, while the passenger was initially unaccounted for, the Hartford Courant reported.

Two people who were inside a car at the time were also transported to a hospital, but they were not linked to the plane crash, NBC said.

This post has been updated with additional information about the crash and news that the FBI was joining the investigation.