CRASH DOESN'T GROUND PUBLIX SHOPPERS

VENICE, Fla. -- When a small, single-engine airplane crash-landed on the roof of a Publix supermarket here Oct. 22, the 30 customers in the store continued to shop.nd McClelland, 52, a retired military pilot, was forced to land his plane on the roof after the engine died and he realized it could not make it to the airport a mile away. "McClelland was in a pretty heavy residential area, so he picked

VENICE, Fla. -- When a small, single-engine airplane crash-landed on the roof of a Publix supermarket here Oct. 22, the 30 customers in the store continued to shop.

nd McClelland, 52, a retired military pilot, was forced to land his plane on the roof after the engine died and he realized it could not make it to the airport a mile away. "McClelland was in a pretty heavy residential area, so he picked the top of the Publix store to land," said William Stookey, spokesman for the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

The crash ripped a 3-foot-wide hole in the store's roof and damaged its facade, where the aircraft hung over the edge. McClelland suffered only minor cuts and bruises, and no Publix customers or its 50 store employees were hurt. Because the plane was leaking fuel, several buildings near the Publix were evacuated.

The Publix closed after the 10 a.m. crash, and lost $25,000 in products and sales. "Luckily, Tuesday is one of the slowest days," Bick said. The store, which already had an evacuation plan, reopened the next day after inspectors gave the green light, he added.