A man and two women survived a small plane crash in the rugged mountains of Big Bear in California on Thursday in what a firefighter called a miracle.
Rescuers hoisted the trio to safety after the small plane went down about 12 miles west of Big Bear Airport after 2 p.m., according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department. Crews had to hoist the victims out of the dangerous area one rescue official described as"very steep, very rugged, very tree-lined."
"For them to land in the area they did or crash land in the area they did, I believe it to be a miracle that they survived," said Marc Peebles, a battalion chief with the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
The wreckage of the plane could be seen between the trees at the bottom of a steep ridge off Highway 18, a main route through the San Bernardino Mountains.
All three were hoisted in harnesses and then put on stretchers. Two were taken to the hospital by ambulance a third was taken by helicopter to the hospital.
One woman who appeared to sustain facial injuries in the crash told a reporter she thanks God she survived as she was rolled away on a stretcher
It's unclear what caused the plane to go down.