Four dead as two small planes collide in mid-air in Arizona

Reuters News
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Posted: May 31, 2013 3:38 PM

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Four people were killed when two small planes crashed after a mid-air collision in the Arizona desert north of Phoenix on Friday that apparently left no survivors, authorities said.

No one on the ground was injured in the accident, which occurred at about 10:30 a.m. local time roughly 15 miles west of Deer Valley Airport.

"We arrived on the scene and found four people deceased," said Captain Larry Nunez, a Phoenix Fire Department spokesman.

Nunez said one of the planes burst into flames and television footage showed it was completely destroyed. The other plane appeared to be intact. Names of the victims were not immediately available.

The accident was reported to authorities by a pilot who witnessed the collision, said Ian Gregor, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman. An investigation is underway by the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA, he said.

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Tim Gaynor, Cynthia Johnston and Alden Bentley)