A private plane crashed upon landing at the airport in Aspen, Colo., on Sunday, eyewitnesses and aviation officials said.
Emergency crews at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport responded following the crash, which occurred shortly after noon local time. According to the Pitkin County Sheriff's Department, one person was killed and two were injured — one severely — in the crash. The victims were not immediately identified.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane, a Bombardier Challenger 600, was en route to Aspen from Tucson. According to public flight data, a 22-seat private Challenger model plane — owned by a Bank of Utah trustee — took off from Tucson International Airport shortly after 10 a.m. and was due to land in Aspen at 12:11 p.m. MST. Earlier Sunday, the same plane flew from Toluca, Mexico, to Tucson before flying to Aspen.
There were reports of 30-mph wind gusts in Aspen around the time of the crash, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures were between zero and minus-10 degrees. Video taken just after the crash near the tarmac appeared to show strong winds and deteriorating weather conditions.
The National Transportation Safety Board in Washington said it was sending a team to Aspen to investigate the crash. All remaining flights in and out of the airport were canceled Sunday.
In a photo taken by a passenger on a different plane, the plane that crashed could be seen upside-down in the snow. In another, dark smoke could be seen billowing from the wreckage.
Just watched private plane crash at aspen airport. Insane pic.twitter.com/serK7UCLXF— Nico Salvatore Enea (@NicoSEnea) January 5, 2014
Singer LeAnn Rimes Cibrian and comedian and former "Saturday Night Live" star Kevin Nealon were among the witnesses.
Horrible plane crash here at Aspen airport. Exploded into flames as it was landing. I think it was a private jet.— Kevin Nealon (@kevin_nealon) January 5, 2014
Airport is closed now. I think I'll drive back to LA after seeing that.— Kevin Nealon (@kevin_nealon) January 5, 2014
Fire trucks and other emergency vehicles still at scene. No word on survivors or who was on jet but I can't imagine there are survivors.— Kevin Nealon (@kevin_nealon) January 5, 2014
So sad! Horrible plane crash we just saw happen at the Aspen airport.— LeAnn Rimes Cibrian (@leannrimes) January 5, 2014
Didn't look like there could be survivors but just hearing some survived but critical.— Kevin Nealon (@kevin_nealon) January 5, 2014