Plane crash on Lanai leaves 3 dead


HONOLULU — A small plane crashed and burst into flames shortly after takeoff from Lanai, killing three people and leaving three others injured, authorities said Thursday.

The crash occurred around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday about a mile from Lanai Airport, Maui County spokesman Rod Antone said.

The plane, a twin-engine Piper PA31, burned upon impact, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

Maui County identified the dead as the pilot of the plane and two female Department of Planning employees.

Two other planning employees were in critical condition and the deputy attorney for Corporation Counsel, the agency that provides legal services for the county, was in serious condition Thursday morning, according to a nursing supervisor at Queen’s Medical Center and the county. All three survivors were airlifted to a Honolulu hospital.

The group had been on Lanai earlier Wednesday evening for a Lanai Planning Commission meeting and had chartered a return flight on Maui Air, the county said.

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