Official: Two people killed in plane crash

Posted: Thursday, October 02, 2008

ANCHORAGE - Two people were killed Wednesday when a small airplane lost power shortly after takeoff and crashed on a city street while trying to return to the airport.

Both victims were in the plane, Anchorage Deputy Fire Chief Michelle Weston said. She said no one on the ground was hurt.

The Cessna 206 took off from Runway 25 at Merrill Field, banked to the left and clipped the top of an empty, one-story commercial building about 11:40 a.m., Weston said. The plane then crashed onto Eighth Street in a residential neighborhood close to the airport, which is used primarily by small private planes and sightseeing helicopters.

The airport is just a few hundred yards off the Glenn Highway, one of the city's busiest thoroughfares.

"It landed in the street and burned," said Gabriel Marian, who works about 50 feet away from the crash site. "There was absolutely nothing anyone could do. It was a ball of fire."

Only charred metal remained of the plane on the street.

The plane was taking off when the pilot reported at 11:41 a.m. that the six-seat airplane had lost engine power, Johnson said. At that point, the plane was cleared to land on any runway available.

The identities of the victims were not immediately released.

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