Montana Plane Crash

Seven children and seven adults died in a plane crash Sunday in Butte, Montana. The single-engine Pilatus PC 12 was headed to Bozeman, Montana, but was rerouted to Butte instead, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus. The plane crashed 500 feet short of the runway at Bert Mooney Airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending an investigation team to the scene, Kristi Dunks, an aerosafety investigator with the agency, told reporters in Butte late Sunday. Dunks said the plane crashed at the Holy Cross Cemetery, just south of Runway 3 at the airport. No one was injured on the ground, Sheriff John Walsh said.
The two witnessed persons Martha Guidoni & her husband photographed one of the first images from the scene, which showed the cemetery in the foreground of a huge blaze. "We were just taking a ride -- all of a sudden, we watched this plane just take a nosedive," she told CNN.

"We drove into the cemetery to see if there was any way my husband could help someone. We were too late -- there was nothing to help." Her husband, Steve Guidoni, said the plane "went into the ground" and caught a tree on fire. Eric Teitelman, Oroville's director of community development and public works, said the small airport has no control tower, but, because it has a "wide-open runway" and a self-service fuel system, it is a frequent stop for general aviation aircraft.

There were conflicting reports about ownership of the plane, manufactured in 2001.


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