5 dead, 2 injured in New Mexico plane crash

FAA spokesperson: Passengers appear to be family

Published June 17, 2010 6:50PM (EDT)

Five people were killed and two others were injured when a twin-engine plane crashed Thursday morning at a regional airport in south-central New Mexico, federal and local authorities said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said he did not have any information about the flight plan for the Cessna 310, but he confirmed it was registered to an owner in Granbury, Texas. The tail number shows the airplane belongs to Rod Aviation.

"The aircraft was apparently landing when it crashed just off the end of the runway," Lunsford said.

State police and Lincoln County emergency management officials confirmed five people were killed and two others were injured in the crash at Sierra Blanca Regional Airport just outside of the mountain community of Ruidoso.

County emergency manager Travis Atwell said two people were pulled from the wreckage and taken to a hospital. Their conditions were not immediately known.

The plane's passengers appear to be related, and the two survivors are teenagers, Lunsford said.

Authorities at the scene said it's too early to tell what may have caused the crash. Investigators with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were en route to the airport, about 130 miles south of Albuquerque.

The crash sparked a fire that burned about an acre of forest near the end of the runway. Atwell said firefighters were able to get the flames under control.

By Associated Press

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