No survivors in US plane crash
An Air Midwest commuter plane struck an airport hangar and crashed during take-off from Charlotte, North Carolina on Wednesday, killing all 21 people on board, officials said.
Air Midwest Flight 5481, operating as a US Airways Express flight, had taken off from Charlotte in clear weather, headed for Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina.
The pilot of the Beech 1900 twin-engine turboprop plane appeared to have struggled to avoid the hangar, officials said, but clipped one side and the plane crashed in flames.
Jerry Orr, director of airport operations at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, said all 19 passengers and two crewmembers aboard were killed in the 8:45 am (local time) crash.
"The airplane took off, was unable to maintain altitude, came down and clipped the corner of the US Airways hangar building," according to Orr, cited by AFP. He added that the cause of the crash had not yet been determined.
Orr described the building as a "very large hangar" and noted that it was US Airways' major overhaul facility. The FBI was among those investigating the crash.
"At this point, there is no preliminary indication of any terrorist incident," said Chris Swecker, special agent in charge of the FBI's Charlotte field office.
On Thursday, CNN reported that Federal investigators said they know "some sort of catastrophic event" prompted the plane’s pilot to declare an emergency, moments before the aircraft crashed and burned.
Investigators probing the crash also said they hope the flight recorders from the plane may reveal with what type of emergency the pilot was dealing before the aircraft crashed.
"We know there was some sort of catastrophic event that caused her (the pilot) to declare an emergency," said John Goglia, head of the National Transportation Safety Board team heading the investigation. (Albawaba.com)
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