5 Dead, 1 Injured in Plane Crash and Long Beach Airport
2011-03-16 · By Barbara Holbrook
Five people are dead and another seriously injured following a plane crash at Long Beach Airport this morning at 10:30 a.m.
According to a spokesperson from the Federal Aviation Administration, a twin-engine Beechcraft King Airplane was headed to Salt Lake City, UT with six people on board. It is not clear yet what caused the plane to crash and ignite in flames shortly after take-off.
The front half of the aircraft and its wings landed on a median between two runaways leaving a scorched trail dozens of feet long in the grass. The Long Beach Fire Department responded within one minute to the Southwest corner of Runway 30 where they found the wreckage of the plane on fire. Firefighters used foam and water to extinguish the flames in less than two minutes.
Firefighters then quickly used specialized extrication methods and tools to swiftly gain access into the twisted remains of the plan. They found six passengers and immediately extricated the lone survivor, 51-year-old Long Beach real estate executive Mike Jensen, and began treatment before transporting the patient to a local hospital.
Jensen remains in critical condition at Long Beach Memorial Hospital. An update on Friday, March 18 has Jensen’s condition improving. Doctors have said that his heart and lungs are doing “extremely well. Thanks to twitter user @robertamberg for the information. For further details visit: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mjensen/journal.
In addition to the pilot, victims in the crash included 44-year-old Long Beach real estate broker and cycling activist Mark Bixby; Long Beach real estate investor Thomas Fay Dean, 50; and his business partner Jeff Berger.
“These were charismatic men that believed in Long Beach, made a real contribution and worked towards a better community,” Mayor Bob Foster said. “Our thoughts and prayers go to their children and their families in this time of unspeakable sadness.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportaion Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the accident. Commercial and general aviation operations at the Long Beach Airport continue uninterrupted.