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[Updated] Several people killed in South Lake Tahoe plane crash, authorities say

August 26, 2012 |  4:25 pm

Authorities are investigating a plane crash near the South Lake Tahoe Airport that killed several people.

The small plane crashed  about 9:48 p.m. Saturday after taking off from the airport, according to a statement from the city of South Lake Tahoe. The crash set fire to a meadow, and firefighters battled for an hour and a half to put out the blaze.

Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board officials arrived on scene Sunday to investigate the cause of the crash.

Witnesses told El Dorado County Sheriff's Department investigators that the plane sounded like it was having engine problems and they saw it "dip downward into the ground while attempting a turn," the city statement said.

Officials said the plane was not affiliated with the 23rd Annual Lake in the Sky Air Show that was held at Lake Tahoe Airport earlier in the day Saturday.

There were multiple victims and no survivors in the crash, according to the FAA. The names of the victims have not been released, pending family notification.

[Updated at 6:53 p.m.: According to an FAA database, the registered owner of the plan, a Piper PA-32-301T, was Francisco J. De la Mora of Fresno. Officials did not confirm whether De La Mora was on the aircraft when it crashed].

South Lake Tahoe Mayor Claire Fortier said in a statement, “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."


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