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At least 8 die in Kirksville plane crash
Updated: 2004-10-20 13:37

A commuter plane crashed in a wooded area south of Kirksville on Tuesday night, and at least eight people were reported killed, the Federal Aviation Administration in Chicago said.

The plane was thought to have been Corporate Airlines Flight 5966 on a regular route from St. Louis to Kirksville, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said. Corporate Airlines is an affiliate of American Airlines, she said.

Corporate Airlines' president, Doug Caldwell, said 15 people were aboard the aircraft: 13 passengers and two crew members. The plane crashed shortly after 7:30 p.m.

The Jetstream 32 twin turboprop, a 19-seat aircraft, went down about four miles south of Kirksville, Cory said. The plane's last communication at 7:33 p.m. indicated it was on a normal approach to Kirksville Regional Airport, and there was no mention of any problems, Cory said.

Larry Rodgers, a spokesman for Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, said the hospital was treating two people who had been on board the plane that crashed. He said both were stable but said he could not speak to the extent of their injuries at 10:45 p.m.

“As the physicians evaluate them, we should know more,” he said.

According to the airline's schedule, the flight was scheduled to depart St. Louis at 6:42 p.m. and arrive in Kirksville at 7:42 p.m.

Corporate Airlines was formed in 1996. “This is the first accident we've had,” Caldwell said. He expressed condolences for the victims.

According to the Kirksville airport's Web site, Corporate Airlines schedules 10 non-stop flights between Kirksville and St. Louis' Lambert Field each week.

Kirksville, about 90 miles north of Columbia, is home to two universities: Truman State University and A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, an osteopathic medical school.

Tuesday's crash was the second by a commercial aircraft in Missouri in less than a week. Late Thursday, a Pinnacle Airlines jet crashed in a residential area in east Jefferson City, killing two pilots. That aircraft, which can seat 50, had no passengers aboard at the time. It was not immediately clear what caused that crash.

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