All 7 Aboard Private Jet Killed in Crash at US Air Base
By PTI | Published: 01st June 2014 03:36 PM |
BOSTON: All seven people aboard a small private jet were killed when the plane crashed and burst into flames in a wooded area while taking off from an air force base in Massachusetts, US authorities said Sunday.
The Gulfstream IV jet was taking off yesterday from the Hanscom Air Force Base at 9:40 pm (local time) when it ran into a wooded area.
All seven aboard the jet died, CNN quoted Sharon Williams, director of Hanscom Field airport, as saying.
She said that families of the victims were being notified.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to them tonight," she said without giving the names of the deceased.
Officials said the private aircraft that was heading to Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Airport operations at Hanscom have been shut down. Williams said the airport would remain closed indefinitely.
Nearby residents recounted seeing a fireball and feeling the blast of the explosion shake their homes.
The plane exploded in a blast that sent a fireball and a large plume of black smoke into the air, said Bedford resident Jeff Patterson, who lives beside the runway. The flames rose 60 feet in the air, he said. His son, Jared, said the explosion rattled the house.
"I heard a big boom, and I thought at the time that someone was trying to break into my house because it shook it," said Jared Patterson.
"I thought someone was, like, banging on the door trying to get in," Boston Globe quoted him as saying.
Firefighters arrived quickly at the scene and were able to extinguish the flames in a short time, the Pattersons said.
Still, the damage to the plane was extensive.
Hanscom Field is a joint military and civilian facility located 32 km outside of Boston.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating and will determine the cause of the accident, said Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
The airport is regularly used by corporations for travel and also as a secondary airport to Boston's Logan International Airport.