Plane crashes through Reno warehouse
March 14, 2002
RENO — Six people walked away from a plane crash Wednesday night after their twin-engine plane went through the roof of a warehouse on Longley Lane in Reno,
According to witnesses, the six climbed out of the plane and walked out through the building by the time emergency personnel arrived.
Two of the six passengers were taken to Washoe Medical Center.
One remained hospitalized overnight. The others were treated for minor injuries.
Mark McGuffey at the nearby Tiger Kung Fu Academy told Reno’s KOLO-TV, ” I heard this huge rumbling noise, we thought it was a huge car, and this big crash, and it shook our entire school.”
Scott Domes, also in the school at the time, said: “We heard a loud crash and we looked out the door and the plane hit the building behind us.”
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Witnesses first on the scene thought no one could have survived, McGuffey said.
“We honestly thought no one survived because I was yelling at the top of my lungs and I couldn’t hear anybody. I was about to run into the building but as I did they were coming out.” he said.
“Six of them came out of the building and we assumed they were employees of the building behind us. I said, ‘Do you work here?’ And they said, ‘We were on the plane.’ That’s when we noticed some of the people were injured … they were all shocked,” Domes told KOLO-TV.
The five men and one woman were returning from Durango, Colo.
“Their injuries were described as nonlife-threatening,” said Adam Mayberry, Reno-Tahoe International Airport spokesman.
The plane, which seats six to 10, crashed at about 7:41 p.m. on its landing approach to the airport after diverting from Lake Tahoe Airport, Mayberry said.
“The plane basically landed right on the roof,” said Mayberry. “It penetrated the roof, and about half of the plane was inside the building, with the right wing extending out. I’m delighted that we didn’t have any serious casualties let alone fatalities.”
It is not known if weather was a factor in the crash, though it was snowing in Reno at the time.
“I’m not going to speculate on the cause of the crash,” said Mayberry. “I’ll leave that up to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration investigations. I can tell you that visibility was poor at the time of the crash.”
The crash caused Reno-Tahoe Airport to close for nearly two hours, but only to incoming aircraft.
“We basically had to close the airport to incoming aircraft to allow the FAA to check the instrument landing system to be sure that it was working properly, to be sure that wasn’t the cause of the crash. They shut it down and turned it back on and it was working fine,” said Mayberry.
The plane is a twin-engine Beechcraft King Air 200.
“They are typically used as corporate aircraft,” said Mayberry.
The crash occurred on the roof of I.L.S.I. America, a manufacturer of electrical components in the Quail Business Park, south of the intersection at Longley Lane and McCarran Boulevard.
The building is about 2-3 miles south of the Reno-Tahoe Airport landing strip, according to Mayberry.