Four people were killed on Wednesday afternoon when a small plane crashed and sparked a massive fire in southwest Miami. There were no survivors. The twin engine Beechcraft 1900 plane went down moments after taking off from Miami Executive Airport. Officials responded to the call just after 2:30 p.m. near the intersection of Krome Avenue and SW 144th Street.
A spokesman at Miami Executive Airport said the pilot of the Beechcraft plane had alerted air traffic controllers that he was having engine trouble, adding that he was going return to the airport. Unfortunately, the twin engine plane crashed shortly thereafter, not far from a residential neighborhood. On the way down, the plane struck a power line then immediately burst into flames on impact.
Dozens of Miami-Dade firefighters responded to the call. The plane was carrying roughly 500 gallons of fuel, so it took some time to get the blaze under control.
According to NBC Miami, a friend of the victims aboard the flight identified the pilot as 52-year-old Captain Raul Chirivella. Robert Cavaniel was the copilot, and one of the passengers was identified as Carlos Betancourt. The fourth victim remains unidentified. The victims were reportedly in the area to purchase plane parts. They were scheduled to make a stop in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos before heading to their final destination of Venezuela.
At this time, officials have not formally stated what caused the crash, though investigators will be looking for any mechanical issues that may have contributed to the tragedy. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been alerted of the crash and will send a team to lead the investigation. A preliminary report should be released within the next couple of weeks. A full report could take up to a year to complete.
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