Officials say it's a miracle no one was injured after two planes collided in Colorado on Wednesday, especially as one plane appeared to have been nearly split in two. The small planes collided over Cherry Creek State Park around 10:25am while trying to land. The pilot and lone occupant of a Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner operated by Key Lime Air landed safely at Centennial Airport near Denver, 4 miles to the south of where the second plane, a Cirrus SR22, crash-landed, though photos showed a massive hole near the Metroliner's rear. The Cirrus deployed a parachute and dropped to the ground "nice and slow" before two occupants exited unharmed, Deputy John Bartmann of the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office tells CNN. "You expect something a lot worse. This was amazing," he adds. "We've had several plane crashes in our jurisdiction, never have we seen a parachute be deployed and bring the plane down safely."
The planes had been cleared to land on parallel runways at Centennial, "one of the nation's busiest general aviation airports," reports the Colorado Sun. It adds that air traffic control warned the Cirrus' pilot that the Metroliner was close by. A woman who was walking in the park told KUSA that she saw what she thought was a plane being towed by "a larger green plane," the Metroliner. She then heard a noise and saw the smaller red plane deploy its parachute. A longtime pilot who landed at the airport just minutes before the collision told KUSA that Cirrus aircraft come equipped with a ballistic rocket-fired parachute. "If this was any other aircraft other than a Cirrus that was involved in this midair collision, there would be at least two people that lost lives," he said. Debris covered a large area but didn't hit anyone, per KCNC. The FAA and NTSB are investigating. (Read more plane crash stories.)