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Plane's emergency landing at mall stuns shoppers

  • Story Highlights
  • Plane carrying two people lands in parking lot of New Jersey shopping mall
  • No one injured, Rockaway Township official says
  • Pilot reported engine trouble before landing, FAA spokeswoman says
  • Mall worker says she thought landing was a joke when she first heard about it
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(CNN) -- A small plane startled shoppers but caused no injuries or damage Tuesday when it made an emergency landing in the parking lot of a New Jersey shopping mall.

The plane's pilot reported a "rough-running engine" before landing Tuesday, an FAA spokeswoman says.

The plane's pilot reported a "rough-running engine" before landing Tuesday, an FAA spokeswoman says.

The plane landed around noon at the Rockaway Townsquare Mall, according to Greg Poff, an official with Rockaway Township, about 25 miles northwest of Newark, New Jersey.

Neither of the two people aboard the Cessna 172 was hurt, Poff said.

Footage from the scene showed the plane resting nose down in a part of the parking lot near JCPenney.

Mall employee Jennifer Nelson was relieved to hear that no one was hurt, and kept her sense of humor about the novelty of the incident.

The optician at Pearle Vision did not see the landing, but heard about it when a patient came in and told her a plane was in the parking lot. At first she thought the patient was kidding.

"I did, because, who would think? It's craziness," she said.

The unusual excitement near her store did inspire one idea.

"We'll have to have a plane crash special on eyeglasses," she said with a laugh.

Lori Magie, who works at the JCPenney department store, said that when she heard from others that a plane had landed in the lot, her first thought was to check on her car.

"When I was told, I could not believe there would be an accident like that around here," she said. iReport: Watch video shot at the scene of the parking-lot landing

The pilot of the plane reported a "rough-running engine" before the aircraft landed in the parking lot, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Salac.

One of the plane's wheels apparently hit a tree during the landing, said Les Morris, a spokesman for Simon Property Group, which owns the mall.

FAA records indicate that the plane is registered to an aircraft charter company called Genesus One, based in Paramus, New Jersey.

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