HONOLULU — The owner of a small plane that crashed near a Honolulu freeway says the aircraft had a spotless safety record and new engine before the Friday incident.

Aircraft Maintenance and Flight School Hawaii Owner Jahn Mueller said in a statement released Saturday that he rented the plane to a man with two passengers. The Piper PA-28 plane had been flown just an hour before it would end up under a Moanalua freeway bridge, Mueller said.

The three people in the plane crash survived with minor injuries after the pilot landed in a canal before it burst into flames. The three men, in their 20s, were taken to a hospital in serious condition.

“My heart goes out to the pilot and passengers and their families,” he said. “We commend the pilot for steering the plane to minimize tragedy. We thank the bystanders who helped assist the victims.”

Mueller said he has not spoken with the men since the crash.

No property was damaged, according to the state Department of Transportation.

The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation of the crash.

Investigators are still looking for what caused it. A preliminary report on the crash is expected to be ready within seven to 10 business days.