Taunton Municipal Airport authorities say two people were killed in a plane crash early Sunday morning after attempting to take off before it went down. The plane type and other details are unknown.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said no details about the accident including the circumstances were available yet.
Taunton Lieutenant Paul Roderick said the release of information about the occupants will likely be delayed for some time as it needs to be confirmed through dental records and while authorities notify next of kin. The victims have been taken to the state medical examiner’s office.
He said the aircraft was a small plane with two or four seats.
James Madigan, a commissioner with the Taunton Municipal Airport Commission, said he arrived at the scene around 6:30 a.m., shortly after the crash, and found the Taunton Fire Department extinguishing flames.
The fire had destroyed the plane’s identification number, he said, and made it impossible to determine what type of aircraft it was.
“It’s all burnt up,” he said.
He said it was necessary to remove the plane’s wings to pull out the bodies.
“There isn’t much to the aircraft,” he said. “It’s a fabric-covered aircraft.”
For such planes, he said, there is no requirement to file a flight plan or sign in and out of the airport, which has complicated efforts to identify the dead.
“It’s just like you get in your car and drive. You don’t have to tell anybody where you’re going,” he said.
Madigan said the crash is the only fatal accident at the airfield that he could recall.
Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye Jr. who was at the airport this morning called the gully where the plane crashed “a tragic scene.”
“The plane was dismantled,” he said.
Hoye could not say what the cause of the accident was.
“At this point it just looks like a horrible accident, just a terrible tragedy,” he said.
He said pilots who belong to a club often make recreational flights out of the airport on Sunday mornings, but he was unable to say whether the pilot of the plane that crashed was a member.
“It’s just difficult,” he said. “This is the first tragedy that we’ve had here in recent memory.”
Local and State Police as well as the fire department, the state medical examiner, the FAA, and MassDOT Aeronautics are still investigating.