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Small plane makes emergency highway landing in Croatia

August 17, 2019
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In this photo provided by Vrbovsko Fire Brigade, a small plane is parked after it made an emergency landing on a main highway in Croatia, near Vrbovsko, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. Croatian emergency services say the incident happened Saturday on the highway connecting Croatia's capital Zagreb with the northern Adriatic port of Rijeka, usually crowded during the summer tourism season and on weekends. (Filip Marekovic/Vrbovsko Fire Brigade via AP)
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In this photo provided by Vrbovsko Fire Brigade, a small plane is parked after it made an emergency landing on a main highway in Croatia, near Vrbovsko, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. Croatian emergency services say the incident happened Saturday on the highway connecting Croatia's capital Zagreb with the northern Adriatic port of Rijeka, usually crowded during the summer tourism season and on weekends. (Filip Marekovic/Vrbovsko Fire Brigade via AP)

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — A small plane made an emergency landing Saturday on a main highway in Croatia after its engine failed, surprising drivers but causing no injuries.

The incident happened on the highway connecting the capital Zagreb with the northern Adriatic port of Rijeka. It is one of the main roads in the country and is usually crowded during the tourist season and on weekends.

Local firefighters from the nearby region of Vrbovsko cited a “technical malfunction” on the plane as the reason for the landing. They added the incident caused no casualties, only damage.

The pilot of the single-engine Cessna 150 said he had a choice either to land on a field or on the highway after the engine malfunctioned.

“It was a hard decision because the traffic was very dense today and I had to find space to land between cars,” Teodor Goricanec told local media. “Luckily no one was injured.”

A video from the scene made from a driving car showed the plane landing heavily on the highway, swaying left and right with one wing apparently scraping the road before stopping on the emergency lane near a metal barrier. Photos show damage to one of the wings as well as front of the plane.

News portal 24sata said a woman and her flight instructor were on the plane.

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