By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) - Three people were killed and two injured on Sunday when a single-engine airplane crashed in a field adjacent to a runway at a northern Colorado airport, authorities said.
Peter Knudson, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said the Piper PA-46 aircraft went down shortly before noon near the Erie Municipal Airport, about 25 miles northwest of Denver.
"We don't know yet know if it was taking off or landing," said Knudson, adding that five people were on board the plane, which crashed in clear weather.
Roger Rademacher, assistant fire chief with Mountain View Fire Rescue, said emergency crews found two people dead inside the wreckage of the six-seat airplane when they arrived at the scene.
Two people survived the crash, Rademacher said. One was transported by ground ambulance to a nearby hospital and the other survivor was airlifted to a Denver hospital.
Rademacher said that he did not know the extent of the survivors' injuries or their conditions.
The names of the dead and injured have not been released.
Knudson said investigators with the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration were at the crash site to try to determine its cause.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Sandra Maler)