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King Air Down At Long Beach Airport

Five On Board Fatally Injured

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.

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.ntsb.gov

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