FBI Takes Over Investigation Into Connecticut Plane Crash That Killed 1

Smoke pours from the smoldering remains of a small plane that crashed on Main Street in East Hartford Conn., Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. Authorities said at least one person is dead and another is injured after a small airplane crashed near the Connecticut River. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jim Michaud/Journal Inquirer via AP)
Smoke pours from the smoldering remains of a small plane that crashed on Main Street in East Hartford Conn., Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. Authorities said at least one person is dead and another is injured after a small airplane crashed near the Connecticut River. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jim Michaud/Journal Inquirer via AP)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken over the investigation into the crash of a small plane in Connecticut on Tuesday afternoon, looking into the possibility that the aircraft was deliberately downed by one of the two people on board, according to the authorities.

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, the National Transportation Safety Board said its initial investigation determined that the crash in East Hartford was the result of an intentional act.

Lt. John Litwin of the East Hartford Police told reporters earlier on Wednesday that he would not comment on specific details of the investigation, but confirmed that the F.B.I. was leading the inquiry.

“Although you can see the investigation is extremely active, it is still in its infancy,” Lieutenant Litwin said. “Nothing has been ruled out, including an accident.”

He said two people were on board the Piper PA-34 Seneca twin-engine plane at the time of the crash, although it is unclear who was at the controls.

The plane is equipped with two set of controls, so at any given point, either person could have been piloting the aircraft, Lieutenant Litwin said.

One person aboard was killed in the crash; he was identified as Feras M. Freitekh, 28, a Jordanian national. The other person escaped from the burning wreckage and is now at a hospital in Bridgeport being treated for his wounds, which were described as serious but not life-threatening.

Lieutenant Litwin said that the survivor had been able to speak to investigators but would not comment on what he might have told them.

Four law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation told The New York Times on Tuesday that the survivor had said that the crash was not an accident.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.

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SOURCE: NY Times, Marc Santora