IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Plane on medical mission crashes, 3 die

Three people are dead after a small plane carrying a patient to Boston for medical treatment crashed in a grocery store parking lot in eastern Massachusetts.
Plane Crash
A firefighter watches as a chaplain says a prayer by the wreckage of a plane that crashed Tuesday in Easton, Mass., killing all three aboard.Robert Klein / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A small plane carrying a cancer patient to Boston for medical treatment crashed Tuesday in a grocery store parking lot, killing all three people on board, authorities said.

The single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza went down in the parking lot at a Hannaford grocery store, said Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Names of the victims were not immediately released.

The flight was arranged by Angel Flight Northeast, a group of volunteer pilots that helps people who need to travel for medical treatment, but can’t afford it.

Amy Camerlin, a spokeswoman for the organization, said a cancer patient and his wife were being flown to Boston’s Logan International Airport so the man could be treated at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“Right now our primary concern is the family,” she said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”

The plane took off from Westhampton Beach on New York’s Long Island and was carrying the pilot and a couple from Long Island, Peters said.

The plane crashed about 500 feet across from the store entrance, near a road leading out of the lot. Firefighters surrounded the wreckage Tuesday afternoon, and a charred wing stuck out from the rest of the debris, which was covered in white cloth.

Store manager Arthur Dechellis the plane crashed in an area where people rarely park and no cars were hit.

“I didn’t see it, I just heard an explosion,” he said. “When I looked outside, it was on fire.” Dechellis said the store remained open.

The registered owner of the plane is Janet Keene of Brookfield, Conn., but she was not on board, according to her husband, Kenneth Keene. He said the plane, which his wife had inherited, was used by Angel Flight about once a month and he knew of no problems with it.

Easton is about 25 miles south of Boston.