17 killed in US plane crash

March 23rd, 2009 - 6:37 am ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles, March 23 (Xinhua) A small plane crashed Sunday afternoon near an airport in the US state of Montana, with 17 people including several children reportedly killed, authorities said.
The single-engine Pilatus PC12 plane crashed in a cemetery around 2:30 p.m. in Butte, about 100 km south of Montana’s capital Helena, according to a spokesman of the Federal Aviation Administration.

The leased plane, whose passengers included several young children, was en route to Butte for a ski vacation from California, officials said.

It was unknown if anyone on the ground was injured in the crash.

According to the Montana Standard, eyewitnesses said that the plane was doing steep angle turns and then went into nose dive before crashing in Holy Cross Cemetery just south of the Bert Mooney Airport in Butte.

Investigators of the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are on the way to the crash site, officials said.

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