Official: Conn. plane crash was suicide, not terrorism

A U.S. official familiar with the investigation into a Connecticut plane crash that killed one person says it appears to have been a case of suicide, not terrorism.

The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity.

Flight instructor Arian Prevalla survived the East Hartford crash Tuesday. Student pilot Feras Freitekh died.

The official says the flight instructor described the student pilot to police investigators as disgruntled about learning to be a pilot. The official says the instructor told police there was an altercation in the cockpit during their training flight, and the instructor was unable to regain control of the plane from the student pilot.

The plane crashed onto a busy road near jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney's headquarters.The FBI is investigating whether a small plane that struck a utility pole near the Connecticut River in East Hartford was intentionally crashed, CBS News has confirmed.

The crash killed one person and seriously injured another.

Freitekh, is a Jordanian national who first entered the U.S. in 2012 on a temporary student M1 visa to fulfill a course of study for flight school, CBS News has learned. At some point his status changed to an F1 visa, and he went to a language school in Toledo, Ohio. It then went back to an M1 visa.

The New York Times first reported that the FBI was brought in to investigate claims made by the instructor that the plane was intentionally crashed.

The Hartford Courant reports that the Cessna took off from Hartford’s Brainard Airport on Tuesday with a student pilot and an instructor on board. It struck a utility pole in East Hartford and crashed around 4 p.m., bursting into flames.

Police say the plane’s pilot was taken to a hospital with serious burns and that the passenger was killed.

The Piper PA 34 twin-engine plane crashed on Main Street in East Hartford at around 3:30 p.m., according to the deputy police chief. Main Street was shut down between Brown Street and Ensign Street. Drivers were being asked to avoid the area, CBS affiliate WFSB reports.

Two people were in a nearby car when the plane crashed on Main Street, police said. Authorities said the car occupants were traumatized from the crash and were taken to the hospital. The car they were in was never hit by the plane.




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