by Trisha Leonard
Tahoe Daily Tribune

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August 26, 2012
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Multiple victims in South Lake small plane crash

Investigators are at the scene of a small plane crash that occurred Saturday night a mile from Lake Tahoe Airport.

No one survived the crash, which occurred shortly after takeoff 9:48 p.m. Saturday from Lake Tahoe Airport. The crash ignited a fire in the meadow just past the airport off of Winnemucca Avenue. The fire burned approximately one acre and took an hour and a half to extinguish.

El Dorado County Sheriff's Department reports that the plane had been heard by witnesses to have apparent engine problems, and was seen to dip downward into the ground while attempting a turn.

According to Federal Aviation Administration, there were multiple victims and no survivors of the crash. The names of victims are not being released until notification of families is confirmed.

"Our hearts go out to the families of those that perished in this tragic accident. Thanks to the quick and cooperative efforts by multiple agencies; the fire caused by this crash was put out quickly," said Mayor Claire Fortier.

Earlier in the day, the 23rd Annual Lake in the Sky Air Show was held at Lake Tahoe Airport. This plane was not affiliated with the air show.

The location of the plane crash is within El Dorado County limits and the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department is the lead agency of this investigation. FAA and National Transportation Safety Board officials arrived on site today to perform an investigation and to identify the cause of the crash.

Winnemucca Avenue resident Dr. Jean Makris said she was home Saturday night when she heard the crash.

"I heard a noise first then saw a fireball. It burned very hot and brightly," she said. "I called 911, everyone called 911; and some of us went into the meadow to see if there were any survivors. It seemed that there were not."

Makris said emergency crews arrived at the scene and moved everyone out of the meadow so they could fight the fire and begin the investigation.

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The Record Courier Updated Aug 27, 2012 04:34PM Published Aug 26, 2012 08:38PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.