‘How are we alive?’ Ga. 17-year-old survives fiery plane crash

DETROIT, Mich. — A metro Atlanta teen says she and her family are lucky to be alive after they survived a plane crash in Michigan last week.

Siena Kamal, 17, was with her aunt, uncle and puppy in Detroit when the family took off in a private plane to head back to Atlanta.

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Kamal said that as soon as the plane took off, she could tell something was wrong.

“The plane started shifting a little bit and like, irregular movement, just wobbling, and I knew that it wasn’t turbulence. It wasn’t really weather,” Kamal said. “So I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t really quite understand, like we’re actually about to go down.”


Her uncle, Ronny Kamal, was able to execute a controlled crash into the woods from about 100 feet in the air.

“If it weren’t for him, we would not be here,” Kamal told WXYZ.

When the plane hit the ground, there was an explosion and the doors blew off the plane. Kamal and her puppy Charlie were able to crawl out of the plane.

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“We walked out and we’re like ... ‘how are we alive right now?” Kamal told WXYZ.

A Michigan Department of Natural Resources officer who just happened to be nearby rushed to the scene, where he found an injured Kamal and her aunt and uncle and drove them to a nearby ambulance. Charlie the dog was found about 13 hours later.

Kamal, her uncle and aunt Chirine Njeim — who is a four-time Olympian — were all hospitalized for burns, cuts and broken bones.

Kamal is now recovering from second and third degree burns to her left arm. She is currently a rising senior at Starr’s Mill High School in Peachtree City.