ON CAM: Man crawls out of burning plane


Two people are dead after a fiery plane crash near an airport on Detroit’s east side.

Three people were on board, flying to Detroit from Arkansas. The pilot survived, thanks to a witness who helped pull him from the plane.

Video captured the sole survivor rolling out of the plane and getting to safety. It was made possible by the quick thinking of Cordell Owens, who saved the man.

“That made my day; that was my Christmas you know,” Owens said.

Police said a small plane first hit a tree and flipping into the ground around 8 p.m. Sunday. The crew flying from Arkansas was scheduled to land in Detroit around that time.

“The plane crashed, and we start running towards it,” Owens said. “And it was a small plane, and the flames were out of control. It started burning, and the gentleman in the plane was hollering and screaming and that was when I went to work.”

The Detroit Free Press reported two men broke a window to get the plane’s door open. Owens helped the man get out alive, and he was rushed to a hospital.

Capt. Mark Forman with Detroit police said it was because of Owens that this survivor was able to make it out of the burning plane.

“Courageous citizens, it’s the type of citizen we do have here in the city of Detroit,” Forman said. “And I think that they should be recognized at some point and time in the near future.”

Owens said he doesn’t feel like a hero; it was just something he had to do.

Investigators are working on notifying the family of the deceased.

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