Two Maui County employees, as well as the pilot, died in a plane that crashed just after takeoff from the Lanai airport on Wednesday night. The 3 other passengers were seriously injured, county officials reported.
The three survivors of the crash were airlifted to the Queen's Medical Center on Oahu for emergency medical attention.
Emergency dispatchers stated that the plane crashed just before 9:23 p.m. in an area known locally as the Miki Basin. Early Thursday morning one of the survivors of the plane crash called 911 and was emergency responders first call about the accident.
The survivor who made the 911 call is the Deputy Attorney for the Maui Corporation Counsel. He told officials that he pulled two of his co-workers away from the fire as best he could because they could not move on their own.
The following statement from Mayor Alan Arakawa of Maui County was issued late Wednesday night:
"Maui County is in mourning after we lost two of our own last night in a plane crash. Our condolences also go out to the family of the pilot who also died in the crash. Ann and I both wish the surviving county workers a speedy recovery."
The spokesperson for Maui County confirmed Thursday morning that two Maui Department of Planning employees were killed in the crash, along with the plane's pilot, giving an update on the survivors:
"They've sustained some broken bones and burns," said Rod Antone, Maui County's Communications Director. "All three of them are being treated for burns, I believe on their hands and face."
The passengers had been on Lanai earlier that evening staffing a Lanai Planning Commission Meeting which was scheduled to run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Maui County chartered a return flight on Maui Air which left at around 9:05 p.m.
When fire crews arrived they extinguished a small brushfire created by the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation and Safety Board have been notified of the crash. Maui police investigators will be on scene at the crash site first thing Thursday morning. The identities of the victims will be released by police after they conduct their investigation.
Image via NDN