?Photo Ilusttration/Photos from HAWSA Swearingen SA227AT Merlin IVC crashed Nov. 15 outside of Milwaukee at Western Lakes Golf Club. The twin-engine turboprop belly landed on the green and severed the wings.
The aircraft was traveling with 53 rescue dogs, who were treated for injuries. The three passengers were also treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Officials discussed the extent of the damage to the plane and the fortunate survival of all passengers and canines aboard the aircraft.
There were approximately 300 gallons of fuel leaking out of the plane due to the severity of the damage to the plane. Before exiting, the pilot was able to shut down the power and hit the emergency fuel shut off. The majority of the fuel was carried in the wings and was not an issue after the crash when the wings were ripped off.
Multiple deputies were dispatched to assist the injured passengers and animals and the FAA was notified to investigate the crash.
Humane Animal Welfare Society Director Maggie Tate-Techtmann said that once the dogs were looked over and treated they would be available for adoption. Of the 53 dogs, 21 were taken to be treated for injuries. The dogs were being transported to HAWS and partnering shelters and will be put up for adoption once their health has been assured.See updates on the dogs and find out how to adopt
Tate-Techtmann said that rescues are transported in the air often and a dedicated team is ready to help ease their transition and comfort the dogs. HAWS has raised money for the unforeseen medical costs for many of the dogs.
There is no known cause for the crash yet but the FAA and NTSB are investigating. Steps are being taken to address the leaking jet fuel in the ground and atmosphere, which, due to the wings being severed in the air was released more into the atmosphere than the ground. The snow and weather were not contributing factors in the crash.
The general manager of the golf course Jason Hoelz said there was minimal damage to the course. Hoelz said he did not hear the crash and the maintenance workers were the first to alert him.Responders quickly helped the dogs with their injuries and anxiety about the event. Some of the rescues were adopted by the first responders that were at the scene.