Los Angeles Police pulled the pilot from a crash-landed Cessna seconds before the aircraft was hit by a commuter train on Sunday, sending debris flying in all directions.
Dramatic video shows several officers freeing the man from the downed plane, which had crashed around 2 p.m., shortly after takeoff in the Pacoima neighborhood of the San Fernando Valley.
The officers and pilot were just a few feet away from the tracks when the oncoming Metrolink train destroyed the plane.
“The plane had a failed takeoff and landed on the train tracks at a popular intersection,” said 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 a stable condition, according to local media. No one on the train was injured.
Video footage posted by police on Twitter showed bodycam footage of officers pulling the bleeding pilot from the plane.
The department applauded its officers, saying in the tweet they had “displayed heroism and quick action by saving the life of a pilot who made an emergency landing on the railroad tracks.”
Reuters and City News Service contributed to this article.