LOS ANGELES - Police in Los Angeles, California, pulled a pilot from a crash-landed Cessna seconds before the aircraft was hit by a train on Sunday (Jan 9), sending debris flying in all directions.
Dramatic video obtained by Reuters showed several officers freeing the man from the downed plane, which had crashed shortly after take-off in the Pacoima neighbourhood, according to local media.
The officers and pilot were just a few feet away from the tracks when the passing train destroyed the plane.
"The plane had a failed take-off and landed on the train tracks at a popular intersection," said Mr 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 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.
The department applauded its officers, saying in the tweet that they had "displayed heroism and quick action by saving the life of a pilot who made an emergency landing on the railroad tracks".