At least five people were killed after a small plane crashed near the Lafayette Regional Airport in Lafayette, Louisiana on Saturday, officials said.
A spokesperson for the Lafayette Fire Department told PEOPLE that the plane was taking off from the airport, on its way to Atlanta, when it crashed around 9:20 a.m. on Saturday morning. One person on board survived the crash, and was taken to a local hospital along with three bystanders who were injured.
The crash occurred in an “open field” next to a local post office, the spokesperson said, and caused two fires that were “quickly extinguished.”
The three injured bystanders who were transported to the hospital included two post office employees. (Their conditions, as well as the condition of the passenger on the plane, are unknown, the spokesperson said. Their identities have not yet been released.)
The Lafayette Police Department confirmed on Twitter Saturday that first responders were “securing the scene” of the crash while awaiting federal authorities.
Acadian Ambulance, a private ambulance service, said on Twitter that they had transported four patients: one who was on board the plane, and three who were on the ground.
Lafayette Police is currently working an airplane crash in the 300 block of Verot School Road. At this time the Lafayette FD will be handling the scene awaiting the National Transportation. We ask that everyone please avoid the area as first responders work on securing the scene.— Lafayette PD (LA) (@LafayettePD_LA) December 28, 2019
Acadian Ambulance responded to the crash of a small civilian airplane in Lafayette (La) this morning and transported two patients to a local hospital. pic.twitter.com/f0SKqNJI7V— Acadian Companies (@AcadianNews) December 28, 2019
According to CNN, weather conditions near Lafayette Regional Airport were listed as foggy on Saturday morning, though NBC News reported that the cause of the crash remains unknown as of early Saturday afternoon.
“I was right outside before the crash. I noticed [the plane] was low and smoking like hell,” a local resident told KLFY. “It shook my trailer. I knew something was bad. I went in my house, and all you heard was this massive explosion.”