Police in Los Angeles, California, pulled the pilot from a crash-landed Cessna seconds before the aircraft was hit by a train on Sunday, sending debris flying in all directions.
Dramatic video obtained by Reuters shows several officers freeing the man from the downed plane, which had crashed shortly after takeoff in the Pacoima neighborhood, according to local media. The officers and pilot are just a few feet away from the tracks when the passing train destroys the plane.
"The plane had a failed takeoff and landed on the train tracks at a popular intersection," said Luis Jimenez, the 21-year-old music composer who filmed the video. "Just seconds before impact police officers saved the pilot, and a piece of debris almost hit me."
The pilot was treated for cuts and bruises and is in a stable condition, according to local media. No one on the train was injured, local media reported.
Video footage posted on Twitter by the Los Angeles Police Department showed bodycam footage of officers pulling the bleeding pilot from the plane.
Foothill Division Officers displayed heroism and quick action by saving the life of a pilot who made an emergency landing on the railroad tracks at San Fernando Rd. and Osborne St., just before an oncoming train collided with the aircraft. pic.twitter.com/DDxtGGIIMo— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) January 10, 2022
The department applauded its officers, saying in the tweet they had "displayed heroism and quick action by saving the life of a pilot who made an emergency landing on the railroad tracks."