Cargo plane crashes at Elmendorf

Posted: Thursday, July 29, 2010

ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE - A military cargo plane crashed Wednesday at an Air Force base near downtown Anchorage with four people on board, the Air Force said.

The conditions of the four were not immediately known, said Air Force Capt. Uriah Orland. When asked if there were deaths, he did not answer.

The plane crashed at Elmendorf Air Force Base at 6:14 p.m., and first responders were still at the scene more than two hours later, Orland said. Access routes to the crash site, which was not on a runway, were closed.

The plane was from the 3rd Wing, based at Elmendorf, and Orland said it was on a local training run. He added more information would be released later Wednesday.

A board of officers will investigate the crash.

Anchorage Fire Dept. Captain Bryan Grella said his crew was just getting done with dinner at about 6:30 p.m. at the downtown fire station when something caught his eye.

"It was a big, gray plume of smoke, and I saw a fireball go up in it," he said.

The fireball extended about 750 feet in the air. He estimated the plume to be about two miles from downtown.

It's the third airplane incident in Anchorage this summer. In June, one child was killed and four others burned when a small plane crashed after taking off from the city's small-airplane airport in downtown Anchorage.



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