Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

Hawaii officials raise death toll to 11 in sky-diving plane crash

No survivors as aircraft used for skydiving catches fire after crashing near airport

Eleven people died in a fiery crash of a small airplane used in a skydiving operation on Hawaii.

There were no survivors after the twin-engine King Air plane crashed on Friday night near Dillingham Airfield, on Oahu's North Shore, a Hawaii Department of Transportation spokesman said.

"Upon arrival, we saw the plane fully engulfed in fire," said Honolulu fire chief Manuel Neves. "The first crews on scene extinguished the fire."

Mr Neves said the crashed occurred near the perimeter fencing of the small airport about an hour's drive north of Honolulu. "They're quite a ways away from the runway."

The plane was used in a skydiving operation, and Mr Neves said some family members of those on board waited at the airport for the plane to return.

Names, ages and genders of the deceased have not been released.

The debris field was relatively small, about 15 metres by 15m, Mr Neves said.

"In my 40 years as a firefighter here in Hawaii, this is the most tragic aircraft incident what we've had."

Mr Neves said many details are still not known about the flight. Witnesses reported that the plane was returning to the airport when the crash occurred but that has not been confirmed.

Updated: June 23, 2019 06:04 PM

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