FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - Virginia State Police said six people have died in a small plane crash near Shannon Airport in Fredericksburg.
The plane was attempting to land at the airport, but aborted the landing and pulled back up when it reached the end of the runway. The plane then ended up crashing into a tree line at the end of the airport property before catching on fire.
All six bodies were recovered and they have been transported to the medical examiner’s office in Richmond where they will be positively identified. Police said the victims are all from outside of the state.
Tanya Aquino of Washington was on an Amtrak train to Richmond when the train stopped. A conductor first said there was a fire, then said there had been a plane crash.
The train rode past the crash site and Aquino said she saw flames, smoke, several rescue vehicles and the remains of the plane just beyond the tree line.
"When I heard there was a fire, it was such a hot day, I was hoping it was just a brush fire," Aquino said. "It looked so terrible the way the plane had landed."
Shari Acree, who was also on the train, said she saw white smoke and the crash.
"The plane was completely decimated and there was still some flame coming from it," Acree said in an email.
The airport has an average of 85 flights per day, mostly local general aviation. Ninety-one aircraft are based there, most of them are single-engine.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Information from the Associated Press used in this report.