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One Dead as Small Jet Crashes on Aspen Runway

At least one person died when a small jet crashed Sunday afternoon at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in tony Aspen, Colo. — and at least two celebrities witnessed the fireball.

The aircraft burst into flames upon landing after 12:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. ET), according to witnesses. Among those who said they were at the airport at the time of the accident were singer LeAnn Rimes and comedian Kevin Nealon.

“Horrible plane crash here at Aspen airport,” Nealon tweeted. “Exploded into flames as it was landing. I think it was a private jet.”

“So sad! Horrible plane crash we just saw happen at the Aspen airport,” Rimes tweeted.

The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office said that one passenger died and two passengers were taken to a local hospital.

Image: A plane crashed at an airport is Aspen, Colo.
Emergency crews respond to a small jet crash at an airport in Aspen, Colo., on Jan. 5. Gretchen Hawkesby (@starshipfriends) / Twitter / Gretchen Hawkesby (@starshipfriends) / Twitter

Pictures from the scene uploaded to social media show the plane upside down as firefighters douse the aircraft with water.

The plane, a Bombardier Challenger 600, had made a stop in Tucson, Ariz., after departing from Mexico.

The airport was closed following the accident. 

Public records show the plane is registered to a Bank of Utah trustee. A bank spokesman told NBC News they would have “facilitated the sale” to a buyer, but couldn't immediately confirm who owned the aircraft.