All passengers make it out of fiery plane crash alive

All 10 people aboard a small jet plane that went up in flames when it crashed just off the runway at a California airport made it out alive, reports said.

The pilot of the twin-engine Cessna Citation jet, heading from Oroville to Portland International Airport, aborted takeoff at Oroville Municipal Airport around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday for reasons that remain unclear, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

“It was attempting to take off, but early reports show that it never made it off the ground,” the city’s public safety director Joe Deal said, adding that the personally chartered jet slid off the northern end of the runway into a grassy area, but never left airport property.

By the time Oroville firefighters arrived at the runway’s north end, the plane was totally engulfed in flames, Deal told the Chico Enterprise-Record.

Once the passengers were accounted for, smokeaters turned their attention to fighting a raging wildfire sparked by the crash. It was quickly extinguished,  officials said.

The plane itself also was doused with water, Rick Carhart, public information officer for Cal Fire-Butte County, told the outlet.

The aircraft had just been filled with 480 pounds of fuel, Deal said. Authorities needed to close a section of Highway 162 near the airport over concerns that spilled fuel could reignite.

The airport, which does not have commercial flights, stayed open.

The Federal Aviation Administration will continue to probe the crash, according to Deal.

Delta Private Jets, the operator of the aircraft, said in a statement issued to CBS Sacramento that it is “in close contact with the customers on board.”

“All eight customers and two crew safely exited the aircraft and were escorted to the terminal,” the statement said. “While the cause of the incident is currently under investigation, we are providing support to customers involved through re-accommodation and other resources.”

“I hope they’re having a cocktail right now,” nearby resident Larry Castner told the station of the survivors. “That’s what they need to have, something like that maybe, maybe hold on to a Bible.”

With Post wires

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