13 die in crash of commuter plane in Missouri
October 20, 2004
KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – The bodies of five people were found Wednesday in the wreckage of a commuter plane that crashed and burned as it carried doctors and other medical professionals to a conference.
Thirteen people died in the crash Tuesday night. Two escaped with little more than broken bones. The bodies of all the victims have now been recovered.
“It was remarkable,” said National Transportation Safety Board member Carol Carmody of the survivors.
The plane took off from St. Louis and went down in woods as it came in for a landing in Kirksville, a city of about 17,000.
Carmody didn’t release the identities of those who died in the crash, although some have been identified by family members and employers.
Authorities called it a miracle that anyone managed to survive the crash of the Jetstream 32, a 19-seat twin-engine turboprop flown by Corporate Airlines.
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Rescuers found the plane’s fuselage in flames, with one of its wings broken off. Most of the debris was found in compact area of about 40-by-60 feet, Carmody said.
The two survivors, a 44-year-old woman and a 68-year-old man, suffered only broken bones and some burns, and were in fair condition Wednesday.
“We see car accidents with worse injuries coming in here every week,” said Dr. Charles Zeman, director of trauma services at Northeast Regional Medical Center. “This is truly a miracle.”
The cause of the crash was not immediately known. Carmody said the NTSB expected to get an initial reading today from the plane’s two flight data recorders.
“The black boxes are very important to the investigation, provided they’re in good condition,” Carmody said. “These looked like they were. We never know until we read them out.”
The crew’s last communication indicated the plane was on a normal approach to the airport, with no mention of any problems, said Elizabeth Isham Cory, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman.
The plane clipped treetops before crashing on private property in a wooded area between two fields. The woman who survived was walking around when rescuers arrived, and the man was found in brush about 25 feet from the fuselage.