1 Mexican dies, 2 injured in fiery plane crash in Aspen, Colorado

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 January, 2014, 12:13am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 January, 2014, 12:13am


A fiery private jet crash, witnessed by celebrities at the airport of the exclusive ski town of Aspen, killed one person and injured two others, Colorado authorities said.

Officials said the flight originated in Mexico and all three aboard were Mexican pilots.

Alex Burchetta, director of operations for the Pitkin County sheriff's office, identified the man who died as Sergio Carranza Brabata, 54, of Mexico. He did not release the names of the two injured, and he did not know where in Mexico Brabata lived.

Burchetta said the plane went off the right side of the runway on Sunday, flipped over and burst into flames.

"The injuries were traumatic in nature," he said. "The fire never reached inside the cabin as far as we can tell."

The crash prompted Twitter responses from at least two celebrity witnesses. Country singer LeAnn Rimes Cibrian tweeted on Sunday: "So sad! Horrible plane crash we just saw happen at the Aspen airport."

Comedian Kevin Nealon also sent a series of tweets about the crash. His first one said: "Horrible plane crash here at Aspen airport. Exploded into flames as it was landing. I think it was a private jet." Later he tweeted: "Airport is closed now. I think I'll drive back to LA after seeing that."

Ginny Dyche, a spokeswoman for Aspen Valley Hospital, said the facility received two patients who were involved in the crash.

She later said one patient in fair condition and another in critical condition were transferred to another hospital.

Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, confirmed the plane was a Canadair CL-600, a midsized private jet.

The aircraft is registered to the Bank of Utah in Salt Lake City, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. Bank officials did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.

Allen Kenitzer, an FAA spokesman, said the plane was heading from Tucson in Arizona and crashed upon landing.

A plane with the same tail number took off from Toluca, a city 50 kilometres west of Mexico City, before stopping in Tucson, according to a Mexican federal official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The National Weather Service reported there were snow showers in the area on Sunday, but not at the airport.