WICHITA, Kansas – Officials say at least four people are now dead and five are missing after a small plane reported losing engine power and crashed into the two-story FlightSafety International building at Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport. The crash happened around 9:50 a.m. Thursday. It sent up huge plumes of black smoke which could be seen for miles around the city.
Five people have been transported to Via Christi St. Francis Hospital. One patient is now listed in serious condition and three patients are now listed in good condition. One is in fair condition.
Officials are still trying to locate four of the approximately 100 people who were in the FlightSafety building at the time the plane struck the top of the building.
“I would imagine that there was probably a bit of panic in the early stages of the incident. We are grateful at this point that a large number of people appeared to have gotten out at this point but certainly saddened by the loss of life and anybody who might have gotten hurt,” said Chief Ron Blackwell, Wichita Fire Department.
KSN has confirmed from the FAA that a twin-engine Beechcraft B200 Super King Air 200 N52SZ lost an engine on takeoff from Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport. The plane was trying to return to the runway when it crashed.
”It was horrific, there was heavy smoke on the horizon as you approached the airport for miles. A very challenging fire as you might imagine. It appears the aircraft struck the top of the building, catching the building on fire, that would have caused some fire to be inside the building,” added Blackwell.
The plane was heading to Mena Intermountain Municpal Airport in Arkansas. The plane’s first flight was in 1999. It had 6,314 hours of flight time. The plane was registered to Beechcraft Corporation at 10511 East Central in Wichita. It was registered October 3rd and had two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42 engines.