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A small plane crashed moments after taking off from Hawaii’s Lanai Island on Wednesday, killing three people, critically injuring two and seriously injuring a third, authorities said.
The privately owned plane came down shortly after takeoff from Lanai Airport at 9:30 p.m. local time (2:30 a.m ET) en route to Maui, said Maui County spokesman Rod Antone.
He confirmed three people were dead and said the injured were airlifted to the Queens Medical Center on Oahu.
No names were released.
Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga told The Associated Press that crews located the aircraft about 1 mile southwest of the airport.
“Everything happened so fast as far as getting the people off the island to medical care and fighting the fire,” said one emergency responder who was not authorized to speak publicly. “Between putting out the fire and gaining access it was very frustrating for the personnel."
"The whole plane is burnt," Alberta de Jetley, Lanai Times publisher and editor, who witnessed the scene off a dirt road near the Maui Electric Co. power plant, told The Maui News.
She said that the terrain is mostly flat grassland and fallow pineapple fields.
Billionaire Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle Corp., bought 98 percent of Lanai in 2012, according the AP.
Ellison later told financial news channel CNBC he envisions Lanai becoming a "little laboratory" for experimenting with more environmentally sound ways to live.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.