5 dead after small jet crashes in eastern GA

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Associated Press

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 2:33 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 21 at 2:33 AM

THOMSON, Ga. (AP) — An official says five people are dead and two injured after a small jet ran off the end of a runway and crashed at an airport in eastern Georgia.

Thomson-McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall says the jet carrying seven people crashed after 8 p.m. Wednesday. Logan says the two survivors were taken to area hospitals and their conditions were not known. He says the identities of those killed are being withheld pending notification of family members.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said in an email that the Hawker Beechcraft 390/Premier I crashed around 8:30 p.m. at the Thomson-McDuffie County Airport, about 30 miles west of Augusta.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A small jet with seven people aboard ran off the end of a runway and crashed Wednesday evening at an airport in eastern Georgia, authorities said.

The Hawker Beechcraft 390/Premier I crashed around 8:30 p.m. at the Thomson-McDuffie County Airport, about 30 miles west of Augusta, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said in an email.

Seven people were aboard, she told The Associated Press in the email. But she added that she had no immediate details about a possible cause, the identities of those aboard or their fate.

A sheriff's official in McDuffie County had said initially there could be at least one fatality. But all calls to police, coroner and fire officials were being referred to the airport late Wednesday night and local authorities later would not confirm any injuries or fatalities.

A message left by AP for the sheriff seeking more details was not immediately returned.

The Augusta Chronicle (http://bit.ly/WbvMGa) cited Assistant County Fire Chief Stephen Sewell as saying there were at least two survivors identified as a pilot and a passenger. But he provided no additional information about those aboard in that account.

The newspaper said a brush fire flared near the crash scene, quoting witnesses who reported local power outages that prompted a utility to send workers to the site. A photograph posted on the newspaper's online site showed ambulances with lights flashing.

The plane was on a flight from John Tune Airport in Nashville, Tenn., to the Thomson-McDuffie airport, Bergen said in her email, adding the aircraft is registered to a company based in Wilmington, Del.

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