Two dead, several injured after plane crashes at Kansas airport

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 30, 2014 11:35 AM

By Alice Mannette

WICHITA Kan. (Reuters) - At least two people died and several were injured after a small airplane crashed into a building at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas on Thursday morning, causing an explosion and fire, officials said.

The two confirmed dead were believed to be in the building when the airplane hit and at least five other people are unaccounted for, Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell told a news conference.

One person was in critical condition and three in fair condition at Via Christi St. Francis Hospital, spokeswoman Maria Loving said. One more person was en route, she said.

The pilot of the airplane, which was identified as a twin-engine turbo-prop Beechcraft King Air, reported losing engine power just after taking off from the airport and crashed as it tried to return, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The pilot was believed to be the only person in the plane.

The airport reported on Twitter that the plane hit a flight safety building but the commercial airport remained open.

Television video showed heavy, dark smoke coming from the building after the crash. There were more than 100 people in the building at the time of the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation, the FAA said.

(Additional reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City and Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Writing by David Bailey; Editing by Bill Trott)