DANBURY, Conn. — Three men were injured, one critically, after their rented plane crashed into heavy brush on a hillside just after taking off from Danbury Airport on Sunday morning, the Danbury Fire Department said in a statement.
The airplane, a Cessna SkyHawk, took off at about 10:30 a.m. when the tower witnessed the plane crash and called 911, said James Gagliardo, fire department spokesman.
The Danbury Fire Department was dispatched to the area near the Danbury Dog Park at the intersection of Miry Brook Road and Backus Avenue, Gagliardo said.
Upon arrival, Engine 26 confirmed the plane had crashed in the field just behind the dog park, he said. Responders had to make their way to the crash site, which was located in heavy brush, Gagliardo said.
The three male passengers, who were not identified, were quickly extricated and transported to Danbury Hospital by EMS for treatment, he said.
One man was in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, and medical officials planned to transfer him to Westchester Medical Center via medivac, Gagliardo said.
One man was in "severe condition," he said, and the third was in stable condition with minor injuries.
The plane was reportedly rented from an operator at Danbury Airport, Gagliardo said. It was unclear where the plane was headed after taking off from the westbound runway, he said.
The investigation was turned over to the Danbury Airport Administrator, who is working with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board to determine the cause of the accident, he said.
Police and fire crews were on the scene throughout Sunday afternoon, with emergency crews parked in the Dog Park area and along the fences.
The Dog Park was closed, but the roads remained open in the area. Onlookers and media were gathered near the Federal Express office at the corner, across from the crash scene.
The crash scene is just west of the airport, which is near the Danbury Fair Mall.
The 3,000-pound plane was still at the crash scene Sunday evening. It was in rough terrain along the side of the hill.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.