Nearly two dozen passengers walked away unscathed as a private jet crashed and burst into flames in Texas as it tried to leave for a Major League playoff baseball game in Boston.
All 21 occupants onboard the plane – 18 passengers and three crew – made it out of the wreckage safely, according to officials.
One individual suffered a back injury and was taken to a nearby hospital, as was another passenger. The youngest passenger onboard the flight was 10 years old.
The plane rolled through a fence and was engulfed by flames shortly before takeoff atHouston Executive Airport in Waller County, Texas, on Tuesday morning, officials said.
Photos from the crash site showed columns of smoke billowing from the fiery wreckage of the plane.
Waller County Judge Trey Duhon told News 2 Houston the plane was chartered to Boston for Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox.
“The information we have at this time indicates that the plane did not attain altitude at the end of the runway and went across Morton Road, coming to a rest in the field just north of the airport, where it caught on fire,” Mr Duhon said.
The aircraft was identified as a McDonnell Douglas DC 9-87, which is a fixed wing, dual engine plane. It is registered under the name of J. Alan Kent, the corporate owner of Flair Builders, a Houston-based custom homebuilder.
Mr Kent was among the passengers on the plane during the accident.
He launched his company, which builds homes worth between $1m and $10m across Texas, in 1980 and its website says that it projects have generated a revenue of $100m.
Mr Kent has also served as a director for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo since 1985.
After the crash Mr Kent told ABC13 that he was trying to figure out what had happened to the plane and that he was expecting a call from the Federal Aviation Administraion.
He confirmed that everyone onboard the plane was part of a group of friends traveling to the Tuesday night baseball game in Massachusetts.
For all the latest developments on the plane crash, follow The Independent’s live blog here.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will both investigate the crash and the NTSB will be in charge of the investigation, according to a statement from the FAA.
Nearly 2,000 homes in the area were left without power as a result of the wreck. By noon, local power companies had restored power to nearly all of the affected customers.
Officials asked the public to avoid the area in the wake of the crash as emergency services rushed to the scene.
Chief Tim Gibson, director of Waller-Harris Emergency Services, said it took several agencies to extinguish the fire which he said had fully engulfed the aircraft by the time crews arrived.
“Anytime you have a plane ... we’re always expecting the worst but hoping for the best,” he said.
“Today, we absolutely, positively got the best outcome we could have hoped for in this instance.”
Sergeant Stephen Woodard, spokesperson of the Texas Department of Public Safety, briefed reporters from the scene of the crash and said officials were thrilled that there had been no loss of life.
“They extracted themselves, they’re off. No one is deceased. Man, that is an awesome feeling right now for us as first responders,” Sgt Woodard said.
And he added: “This is a good day. This is actually a day of celebration for a lot of people.”
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