2 killed after plane goes off airport runway and catches fire in South Carolina

PHOTO: A plane is seen after it went off a runway, according to police, at the Greenville Downtown Airport, Sept. 27, 2018.PlayGreenville Police Department/USA Today
WATCH Plane breaks in half after speeding off runway

Two people were killed and two more were hospitalized after a small plane crashed at an airport in Greenville, South Carolina, according to authorities.

"A Falcon 50 aircraft ran off the end of Runway 19 and through the airport perimeter fence at the Greenville Downtown Airport today at 1:45 p.m.," the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement Thursday.

Greenville Fire Chief Steve Kovalchik told reporters that the aircraft caught fire after running off the end of the runway and that the small fire had been contained.

"This is a real, real bad automobile accident ... with a whole lot of fuel so it becomes a little more complicated," he said.

An image from the scene showed the plane cracked in half with the nose sitting on a roadway outside of the airport.

Kovalchik said four people were on board the plane at the time of the crash.

Two men appeared to have died from blunt force injury. One died at the scene and the other died at a hospital, the Greenville County coroner said Thursday. He added that two other people were being treated at a hospital.

The coroner said authorities were working to identify all four passengers as well as next of kin.

It was not clear where the plane was coming from or where it was going, said Joe Frasher, the Greenville Downtown Airport director.

Frasher said the plane was landing in Greenville when the crash occurred and that he believed one of the pilots was temporarily unconscious and leaning on the throttle.

"We're going to secure the scene. We're going to secure any evidence on the scene and we're going to support the FAA and whatever its needs are here locally until the scene is cleared," said Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller. He said that the plane’s engines had been cut off but there had been a fuel leak.

Miller said he did not know how much fuel was on the plane at the time of the crash but that a "fair amount" had made it into a ditch.

"Some of the fuel has made it off the airport property; however, we do have it contained," Kovalchik said. "We do not believe there's an exorbitant amount of fuel that's been released."

The plane was registered to a company based in Lewes, Delaware, according to the FAA.

ABC News' Whitney Lloyd, Brandan Rand and Dominick Proto contributed to the reporting.