2 killed in fiery plane crash in Kansas

A small plane crashed moments after takeoff from an airport in Olathe, Kansas.

December 31, 2019, 9:14 PM

A small plane crashed moments after takeoff from the Johnson County Executive Airport in Olathe, Kansas, killing two on New Year's Eve.

The single-engine Mooney M20S was engulfed by a post-crash fire, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

"You could see a black cauldron of smoke as you approached the airport," Olathe Fire Capt. Mike Hall said at a press conference. "It's a sad sight."

The aircraft had residual fuel leaking from one of the wings when first responders arrived, Hall explained, but firefighters extinguished the blaze in about 20 minutes using foam and dried chemical powders.

PHOTO: Two people died when a small plane crashed in Kansas on Dec. 31, 2019. Firefighters are seen near the scene.
Two people died when a small plane crashed in Kansas on Dec. 31, 2019. Firefighters are seen near the scene.
Frank Donchez/Twitter

Although flight data is not available, according to ATC audio the pilot was cleared for departure "to the South, down towards Arkansas" at 4:03 p.m. CST.

A spokesperson for the Johnson County Med-Act told ABC News three ambulances were dispatched to the crash scene only two minutes later.

The airport is expected to be closed "for a day or two," Deputy Director for the Johnson County Airport Commission Larry Pete estimated, as officials wait for National Transportation Safety Board and FAA officials to arrive.

Tuesday night's crash comes only days after two small plane crashes -- on Saturday five people died in Louisiana, and on Sunday, a pilot perished after crashing into a Maryland suburb.

The NTSB revealed last month that small-plane crash fatalities had increased in 2018, to 393 from 347 in 2017.

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