ERIE, Colo. (CBS4) – Five people are dead after a small plane they were flying in crashed at the airport in Erie on Sunday.

The five people were on board a Piper PA-46 when it crashed near a runway of the Erie Airpark. Witnesses said the plane was trying to land when it hit the ground just before noon.

“At approximately 11:50 this morning we got some eyewitness acounts of a plane crash just north of the airport here,” Erie police commander Lee Mathis told CBS4. “The officers responded and found that a six passenger plane had crashed and (they) cordoned off the scene and called the NTSB and now we’re waiting on them to further the investigation.”

Two people were taken to the hospital, including one by emergency helicopter, and both later died. Three people, plus a dog who was on board, were found dead at the scene.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board said they are investigating the crash.

“We have not taken any factors out of consideration, so we’ll be looking at man, the machine and the environment,” said NTSB spokeswoman Courtney Liedler.

So far it’s not clear where the plane may have been flying from and who owns the plane.

Images from the scene of the crash showed the plane was heavily damaged.

There have been several plane crashes at the airport in Erie in the past few years. The last one to involve a fatality was in May 2011, the Associated Press reported.


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