Indian-origin man among five dead in US plane crash (Lead)

December 21st, 2011 - 7:36 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 21 (IANS) A 36-year-old Indian-origin man was among five people killed in a plane crash in America’s New Jersey state, officials said.

A single-engine plane that had taken off from Teterboro airport in New Jersey and was heading for the state of Georgia, crashed on to a highway Tuesday, said Jim Peters, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

New York investment banking firm Greenhill & Co. later confirmed that two of its managing directors — 45-year-old Jeffrey Buckalew and 36-year-old Rakesh Chawla — as well as Buckalew’s wife and two children, were on the plane.

A dog onboard the plane was also killed, Xinhua reported.

Greenhill & Co said: “The firm is in deep mourning over the tragic and untimely death of two of its esteemed colleagues and members of Jeff’s family.”

Police said no one on the ground was injured.

According to witnesses, the small plane seemed to break up as it crashed and exploded on the Interstate 287 highway in Harding, New Jersey. The highway is a heavily used route that wraps around the northern and western edges of New York City.

The spokesman said the pilot had requested clearance to a higher altitude before the plane disappeared from radar.

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