Pilot injured after cargo plane crashes into New Hampshire Wal-Mart - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Pilot injured after cargo plane crashes into New Hampshire Wal-Mart

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - A small cargo plane with only the pilot on board crashed into a Wal-Mart Tuesday. The pilot was hurt but able to walk away from the crash, and there were no reports of injuries on the ground.

"I just saw a huge ball of smoke go up," said Maria Kosmakata, who was driving to her job at a nearby car dealership.

The twin-engine Embraer had just taken off from Manchester Airport, about 1 mile from the store, when it hit the Wal-Mart garden center at 7:20 a.m., said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Murray.

The pilot, Paul Seyler-Schmidt, 32, of Bangor, Maine, was helped away from the wreckage by workers at the car dealership and was taken to a hospital. He was in fair condition at a hospital.

"I want to thank the rescue workers and everyone who has shown concern for me following the plane crash," he said in a statement released by the hospital. "I am thankful and lucky to have survived. I am especially thankful that no one was hurt on the ground."

Rick Osgood, who works at the car dealership and was at the crash, said Seyler-Schmidt walked away from the wreckage but appeared hurt, with blood on his head and an injured leg.

The plane, carrying cargo for United Parcel Service, was bound for Bangor, officials said.

"He apparently experienced mechanical difficulty during takeoff and attempted to circle back and land at the airport," said Robin Outwater of AirNow, the Bennington, Vt.-based company that operates the plane.

The store, which had about 40 workers and an unknown number of shoppers, was evacuated after the crash, and there were no known injuries on the ground.

The main building wasn't damaged, fire officials said, and a Wal-Mart manager said the store would re-open Wednesday.

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