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Plane Crashes Into Building In Farmington, Conn., Four Killed

Four people were killed Thursday morning when a small jet carrying two pilots and two passengers crashed after takeoff from an airport in central Connecticut.

Authorities said the Cessna Citation 560XL took off just before 10 a.m. from Robertson Airport in Plainville. The plane then crashed into a building housing the manufacturing company Trumpf Inc.

Authorities said no one in the building was hurt. The names of the deceased, all of whom were on board the jet, have not yet been released.

Gov. Ned Lamont got to the scene just after noon. He said that at 9:52 a.m., the plane had crashed after experiencing mechanical issues and that it was filled with fuel. Emergency officials told him that the plane hit the building and that there were chemical explosions.

“They told me they got here immediately and there was nothing left, it was just a ball of fire, an explosion,” Lamont said. “And then the chemical fires afterwards. There’s still flames up there, hours later.”

Lt. Tim McKenzie from the Farmington Police Department confirmed Thursday afternoon there were four people on the plane — two pilots and two passengers. Other officials confirmed that the four had died at the scene. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration began to comb through wreckage Thursday afternoon.

“It appears there was some type of mechanical failure during the takeoff sequence that resulted in the crash,” McKenzie said. “We expect to be here for several days as we document and collect the evidence.”

“The employees from the Trumpf building who were in the building at the time of the crash — there were no injuries and everybody is accounted for,” McKenzie said.

Will Healey, a spokesperson for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said the crash resulted in “1,000 gallons of Jet A fuel released, and appears to have drained to a wetland.”

Remediation crews were on-site to clean up the area Thursday. The DEEP said “no AFFF foam was used” to contain the fire.

The jet was headed to Dare County Regional Airport in Manteo, North Carolina. An intense fire burned for about 20 minutes.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

Copyright 2021 Connecticut Public Radio

Patrick Skahill is a reporter at WNPR. He covers science and the environment. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.