A small plane fell to the ground and exploded in flames shortly after takeoff on Wednesday from Hawaii’s Lanai Island. The crash killed three people and left three others injured. A Maui County spokesman reported that the incident occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. Wednesday evening about one mile from Lanai Airport. According to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor, the twin-engine Piper PA31 burned upon impact with the ground. Authorities believe that everyone aboard the aircraft at the time of the crash has been accounted for.
The names of the individuals who died in the crash have not been released, but Maui County did state that the pilot and two Department of Planning employees were deceased. A nursing supervisor at Queen’s Medical Center and the county reported that two other Department of Planning workers are in critical condition and the deputy attorney for Corporate Counsel is in serious condition. All three survivors were transported by helicopters to the Honolulu hospital. Their names have not yet been released. This group of six individuals was staffing a meeting in Lanai earlier Wednesday evening and they chartered a Maui Air return flight. All three survivors sustained burn injuries. Fire crews located the airplane in a field of grass about a mile southwest of the airport.
The trip from Lanai was a routine one for the governmental officials aboard the plane that crashed. According to a state senator, these individuals flew this route at least twice a month. The National Transportation Safety Board will be conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash, with assistance from the FAA.
3 dead, 3 injured in Hawaii plane crash www.miamiherald.com February 27, 2014
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