A small plane crashed while on a skydiving excursion in Oahu and erupted into flames, killing all nine people aboard, Hawaii authorities said.
The King Air twin-engine plane went down Friday evening near Dillingham Airfield with no apparent survivors, the Hawaii Department of Transportation tweeted.
It was on a skydiving excursion when it crashed, Honolulu Fire Department Chief Manuel P. Neves said.
When firefighters arrived, the plane was engulfed in flames and they worked to extinguish them. Witnesses saw the plane coming inbound before it went down onto a fence line, away from the runway, Neves said.
“This is the most tragic aircraft incident that we had. We had some helicopters with the military but this is a civilian plane that went down and with that many people on board,” Neves told CNN affiliate KGMB.
The names of the passengers have not been released. Some family members were at the airfield when the plane went down, Neves said.
“I am closely following the tragic developments out of Dillingham Airfield this evening. At this time our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell tweeted.
The Federal Aviation Administration will be taking over the investigation.
The airfield is a general aviation airport operated by the department under a 25-year lease from the US Army, Hawaii’s government website says. The state leases 272 acres of the 650-acre Dillingham Military Reservation and operates the single 5,000-foot runway primarily for commercial glider and sky diving operations.