01/07/2017 3:54 AM AEST | Updated 01/07/2017 7:31 AM AEST

Plane Crash Lands, Bursts Into Flames On California's 405 Freeway

WASHINGTON — A small Cessna airplane erupted into flames after crashing on the 405 Freeway in Irvine, California, on Friday morning. 

The plane hit the ground near John Wayne Airport around 9:30 a.m. local time. It landed short of the runway, according to a tweet from the airport. 

Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told ABC News that the pilot had declared an emergency shortly after takeoff and was attempting to return to the airport when the plane went down.

Videos posted to social media showed the aircraft up against a concrete median with its cockpit engulfed in flames. 

The two people aboard the plane, a male and a female each in their 50s or 60s, survived the crash and were transported to an area hospital with serious injuries, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Larry Kurtz said Friday during a press conference. Their conditions were not immediately known. 

Authorities said the plane struck the freeway’s center divider before colliding with a vehicle and crashing into the median on the outside of the southbound lanes. No motorists suffered serious injuries.

An off-duty firefighter was on the highway at the time of the crash and helped pull the two passengers from the wreckage, Kurtz said, adding that it was “extraordinary” more vehicles weren’t involved. 

The incident temporarily shut down traffic in both directions of the highway, as well as all arrivals to the airport. 

This is a developing story and has been updated throughout.