On June 21, after a skydive tour twin engine aircraft crashed near Dillingham Airfield, on the island of Honolulu, Hawaii, the state’s Department of Transportation announced that were no survivors, and that all 11 passengers on board have died.
Original reports had the death toll at six, then at 9, but as of Saturday afternoon, an FAA spokesperson told Hawaii News Now that their investigation showed 11 people had been on board the aircraft at the time of the accident.
On Saturday evening, Fire Chief Manuel Neves confirmed the devastating news to reporters, “It is very difficult. In my 40 years as a firefighter here in Hawaii, this is the most tragic aircraft incident we’ve had.” Neves also confirmed, “We had some helicopters with the military, but this is a civilian plane with that many people on board.”
Why the Plane Crashed Remains Under Investigation
Police reported that the aircraft was completely engulfed in flames when first responders arrived on the seen on Oahu’s North Shore just before 6:30 p.m. on Friday night. Names of the passengers have not been released to the public, however it’s being that reported many of the airplane group’s family members were located nearby, and might’ve been watching as the plane went down.
Captain Kevin Mokulehua said around 14 units and 39 personnel were dispatched to Dillingham, which is located in the city of Mokuleia, and that they were able to have fire was under control within 20 minutes.
The department’s Air 1 helicopter was also conducting an aerial search of the area to look for debris or any other evidence. The debris reportedly covers a 50 by 50 foot area. Smoke from the accident can reportedly be seen from miles away.
This is One of the Deadliest Civilian Plane Crashes in Hawaii’s History
Mayor of the city and county of Honolulu, Kirk Caldwell tweeted, “I am closely following the tragic developments out of Dillingham Airfield this evening. At this time our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims.”
After investigating the crash, authorities confirmed that the twin engine plane crash shortly after take-off. In addition to the pilot, the passengers on board the Beechcraft 65 King Air, which was operated by the Oahu Parachute Center, included a group of skydive instructors and students.
This is a breaking news story and as new information comes in, we will update this post.