A Beech King Air went down on during a landing attempt Wednesday
morning at Long Beach Airport. Five of the six persons on board
were fatally injured.
FAA Pacific Division spokesman Ian Gregor told television
station KABC that the aircraft had taken off en route to Salt Lake
City, but had circled the airport and was landing just a few
minutes later when the accident occurred. There was no immediate
explanation as to why the pilot returned to the airport in such a
short time, or if there was any problem with the aircraft.
The plane impacted the ground and caught fire. One witness
reported seeing a "large fireball" after the impact. Firefighters
reportedly quickly knocked down the fire, but five people were
declared dead at the scene. A sixth was taken to a hospital. That
person remains in critical condition.
Media reports indicate that the tail of the aircraft had
separated from the main portion of the fuselage, and that the
entire aircraft was charred by the fire.