LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Calls made to the Little Rock 911 center about a plane crash shortly after takeoff Wednesday initially went unanswered.
FOX 16 Investigates made the discovery after receiving a copy of the 911 calls, requested under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
Four people called 911 on Wednesday after seeing a plane go down shortly after it took off from the Clinton National Airport but no one in the city’s emergency communications center answered.
Juana Green, the city’s director of 911 Communications, said all four calls were returned within one to two minutes.
“This is 911, we got a call from your number. Do you have an emergency,” an operator said.
The caller on the end, a man at the airport, told her a plan had crashed in the College Station area.
Green said firefighters at the airport alerted dispatch to black smoke moments prior, or, around the same time the missed calls were being returned.
When someone dials 911 but hangs up before the call is answered, the 911 operator will call back.
“Hi, Little Rock 911, we got a call from this number. Is everything okay,” another operator said.
“I just watched an airplane takeoff, headed to the south and it crashed and had a giant fireball,” said a witness.
The city said five people were working Wednesday around the time of the crash. Of the five, one person was assigned to answer 911 calls and a second was floating between call-taking and dispatching.