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2 people dead after plane crashes into building

By Hannah Cotter

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    KEENE, New Hampshire (WMUR) — Two people are dead after a plane crashed into a building in Keene on Friday night, according to the Keene mayor.

Keene Mayor George Hansel said the plane crashed shortly after departure from the Dillant-Hopkins Airport.

The plane hit a multifamily building at 661 Main Street at 6:48 p.m., which started a fire. The eight people living in the building were not hurt but the two people in the plane were killed.

Officials said the three-alarm fire was out by 8:47 p.m. The plane hit a garage attached to the building.

“So the point of impact was somewhat remote from the main body of the house,” Keene fire Chief Donald Farquhar said.

The plane is owned by Monadnock Aviation, Hansel said.

“The fact that it hit a building where eight people were living and none of those people were injured is an important detail, and we’re very lucky,” Hansel said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and New Hampshire Department of Transportation were at the scene on Saturday and the National Transportation Safety Board would also be there Saturday and the lead agency, according to Hansel.

Airport director David Hinkling said the plane crashed about an eighth of a mile from the end of the runway.

Michael Robinson is the building director at Hope Chapel, which is next door to the apartment building.

“It’s a little unnerving because this is the direct flight path to the airport, so planes go over constantly, and we think nothing of it because we’re so used to it,” Robinson said.

He said one of his friends that lived in the apartment lost everything.

“His vehicles — he’s a contractor, so he lost all his tools that were in the thing. He got hit pretty hard,” Robinson said.

Hope Chapel’s Sunday service tomorrow is canceled so investigators can continue working in their parking lot.

The American Red Cross of Northern New England said they have seven staffers assisting at the scene.

“Our Disaster Action Team is mobilizing, and we are waiting to hear more about what specifically the community needs from us,” the Red Cross said in a statement.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it’s investigating the crash.

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