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Dash cam captures extraordinary footage of a Seattle plane crash

While it’s fair to say that most dash cam footage shows nothing more than an endless stream of asphalt and the predictable maneuvers of nearby cars and trucks, very occasionally they pick up something out of the ordinary, and possibly highly spectacular.

Take driver Simon Li. He was tootling along in rush-hour traffic about 20 miles north of downtown Seattle earlier this week when a small plane hit the deck right in front of him.

His dash cam caught the dramatic moment as the aircraft — a single-engine Piper PA32 — exploded on impact. Incredibly, no one perished in the accident, though a couple of people were hospitalized.

Local reports suggest the plane lost power shortly after takeoff, prompting the pilot to go for an emergency landing on a boulevard that at the time happened to be free of traffic. But as Li’s footage shows, the plane unluckily clipped a set of lights on a gantry just before touching down, bringing the short flight to a fiery end.

Li’s footage joins a growing list of lucky escapes captured by car-based cameras, as a cursory search on YouTube shows. Take this clip from Taiwan shot a while back that shows a driver inches from being flattened by a giant boulder that rolled off a mountain during a storm.

Dash cams are a growing sector of the tech market, with more and more drivers choosing to record their journeys in case of an incident or accident — or some spectacular event that could become the next viral YouTube video. The global dash cam market was worth nearly a billion dollars in 2014 and is estimated to grow to $1.84 billion by 2022.

Interested in getting your own? Then take a moment to check out Digital Trends’ recent pick of some of the best offerings on the market today.