3 killed after plane crashes during takeoff in Maine
OWLS HEAD, Maine (AP) - A small plane hit a truck on the runway during takeoff, caught fire and crashed into the woods near a coastal Maine airport, killing three people, the authorities said on Saturday.
The Cessna 172 was heading north on the runway early on Friday evening when it struck a pickup truck that was crossing the runway, the authorities said. The plane continued to climb and, as it turned to the east, it spiralled downward about into the woods and immediately burst into flames, according to the Knox County sheriff's office.
With flames shooting 3m to 6m in the air and smoke billowing into the sky, the first people to the scene tried unsuccessfully to pull one of the occupants from the burning wreckage, said Mr John Newcomb, president of the Downeast Air airline services company, who was among those who tried to help.
The four-seat plane was destroyed by flames, so there was no way to see its identifying number, airport manager Jeff Northgraves said.