CARLSTADT, N.J. -- A pilot and co-pilot were killed when their Teterboro-bound Learjet crashed into an industrial area in Carlstadt Monday afternoon, the FAA confirmed.
UPDATE: The co-pilot of a Teterboro-bound Learjet that crashed into an industrial area in Carlstadt Monday afternoon is a former Union County resident who years ago was involved in an emergency landing.
Firefighters quickly extinguished blazes at a paper factory and adjacent structure next to the borough DPW building after the 3:30 p.m. crash. They also doused flames that destroyed nearly a dozen vehicles.
The medical transport jet was directed to circle as it first approached nearby Teterboro Airport from Philadelphia International Airport over Route 46, a source with knowledge of the incident told Daily Voice.
The fixed-wing, multi-engine craft -- owned by a company in Billings, MT -- then went into a dive before it flipped, the source said.
"There are reports that the plane was upside down when it crashed," a responder with knowledge of the incident told Daily Voice. "We do know that people got out of the the buildings in time."
Borough employees had just knocked off for the day when, according to witnesses, the Learjet 35 skidded across one building and crashed into the paper factory before landing in the DPW yard.
"We didn't know that all of our employees were out," borough spokesman Joseph Orlando told Daily Voice. "So you can imagine the concern.
"It was a surreal moment," Orlando said. "Our deputy chief of police [Thomas Barton] was running down the street through black smoke, not knowing what he was headed into.
"It's not the kind of thing many people experience," he added. "But our responders acted like they drill for it every day."