US: 11 Die in Hawaii Plane Crash

(TELESUR) – A small plane crashed in Hawaii and erupted into flames, killing all 11 people aboard Friday night, say authorities. The passengers were on a skydiving excursion.

The Beechcraft BE65 twin-engine plane crashed during takeoff Friday from the Dillingham Airfield on Oahu island, the Federal Aviation Administration told CNN.

The cause of the wreck is still unknown. The plane crashed into a fence near the runway, Honolulu Fire Department Chief Manuel P. Neves told reporters. It went immediately into flames, Neves said.

The names of the victims have not been released.

“I am closely following the tragic developments out of Dillingham Airfield this evening,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell tweeted. “At this time our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims.”

The state leases 272 acres of the 650-acre Dillingham Military Reservation and operates the single 5,000-foot runway primarily for commercial glider and skydiving operations.

This was Hawaii’s deadliest civil aviation crash in nearly 20 years when in September 1999, 10 people were killed during a flight, according to NTSB. That plane crashed along the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano.