A plane crashed near the General Mills plant, a global food company, in Covington on Thursday, according to police.
Ken Malcom of Covington Police said the crash occurred around 6:45 p.m. and that the plane did not crash directly into the plant.
According to Malcom, the plane exploded on impact. Video from a Snapchat user showed a column of black smoke near the plant after the incident.
According to Covington Police, there were no survivors. While an investigation is still underway to determine precisely who and how many people were on the plane, police said that there are at least two confirmed fatalities. However, no one on the ground was injured.
“According to witnesses, they believe the plane was having trouble gaining altitude. They could hear that there was engine trouble.” Covington Police Captain Ken Malcom said on Thursday, describing the incident as seen by nearby witnesses. “Suddenly the plane veered to the right and immediately came straight down and crashed into the lot behind us. This is the General Mills plant that produces cereal here in our area. The plane went down in an isolated area here on the lot behind us in an area where they store tractor trailers. The plane came down into four, what appear to to empty, trailers.”
“Obviously this is a devastating crash.” He said. “There are no survivors.”
The plane — identified as a small Cessna 340 twin engine — crashed into multiple tractor trailers, which were destroyed in the collision and following explosion, according to authorities. The plane was traveling from the nearby Covington airport before crashing into the trailers.
“Our job is to contain the scene, turn over the scene to the FAA,” Malcom said in a press conference on Thursday night. An investigation into the crash is now underway by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.
General Mills issued a statement following the incident, announcing that no employees were harmed from the crash.
“A small plane crashed near the General Mills Covington, GA manufacturing facility.” The company said. “No employees were harmed and we’re partnering with the FAA and local law enforcement.”
Authorities have not provided any further information at this time. The cause of the crash is still unknown.
Gov. Brian Kemp announced in 2020 that General Mills would be expanding their Cinnamon Toast Crunch production operations located at 15200 Industrial Park Boulevard Northeast in Covington. The fortune 500 company’s expansion project increased the cereal plant’s workforce from 400 to roughly 440 people.