US

Developing: Jordanian ‘Student’ Intentionally Slams Plane Into Downtown Conn. City

The survivor of a Tuesday plane crash in Connecticut, piloted by a Jordanian national, told FBI investigators it was “not an accident,” according to The New York Times.

The National Transportation Security Board’s initial investigation concluded the crash was “an intentional act,” in a statement Wednesday. The pilot, Feras M. Freitekh, came to the U.S. on a temporary student visa in 2012 for flight school. The legality of his immigration status is unclear. Federal Aviation Administration records indicate Freitekh was issued a private pilots license in May 2015, and verified his certification to fly a single-engine aircraft.

Freitekh’s potential motivations are unclear at this time. Local media report he was killed in the crash.

The plane reportedly took off from a small flight school in Hartford, and went down on East Hartford’s Main Street Tuesday afternoon. Freitekh’s passenger, a flight instructor, survived in the crash, and the East Hartford Fire Department noted he was taken to the hospital with “significant injuries.”

The FBI is concerned because the plane went down next to a Pratt & Whitney (P&W) factory, which is classified as “critical infrastructure” by the U.S. government. The P&W factory is a global aviation manufacturer, including aviation parts for the U.S. military.

A P&W spokesman confirmed in a statement, “it does not appear at this time that any Pratt & Whitney employees or contractors were involved. Additionally, there is no impact to our operation here in East Hartford other than restricted traffic flow to the facility’s main entrance on Main Street. We stand ready to assist local officials as needed.”

(Editor’s note: This post has been updated)

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