Small planes crashes, kills 7

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VPR’s Neal Charnoff talks with reporter Ben Yelle of the Keene Sentinel. To hear that interview, click on the “Listen” icon above.

Seven people were killed Monday when their small plane crashed in woods shortly after takeoff and burst into flames in Swanzey, New Hampshire. Spokesman Jim Peters of the Federal Aviation Administration says there were no survivors.

The dead include two children, parents and grandparents. Mayor of Keene Michael Blastos says the family had been visiting relatives in nearby Newfane, Vermont, and had been staying in Keene. The pilot was from Lafayette, Louisiana, but police did not identify him or say if he was related to the family.

Witnesses said the plane appeared to be attempting to return to the Dillant-Hopkins Airport, about two miles away. There was no distress call prior to the crash. The twin-engine Beech Baron went down about 100 to 150 feet off Route 12 at about 11:00 a.m. The pilot filed a flight plan for Charleston, West Virginia.

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