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Private jet crashes at Aspen Airport; 1 dead, 2 hurt

A private jet crashed at Aspen Airport while attempting to land. One person died, and two others on board were injured.
January 5, 2014 12:33:14 PM PST
A private jet crashed at Aspen Airport Sunday while attempting to land, killing a 54-year-old pilot from Mexico. Two others on board were injured.

The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office confirmed that emergency crews responded to the scene of an airplane crash at the Aspen Airport at 12:23 p.m. Three people -- all pilots from Mexico -- were on board the airplane at the time.

Officials say there were strong winds when the private jet tried to land. According to witnesses, the plane circled several times before coming in. Recordings captured a transmission between the tower and the airplane in which one of the pilots talked about doing another approach.

Then, the jet, a Canadair CL-600, flipped over and burst into flames.

"I was in the waiting room and I saw people sort of behind me to my right closest to the windows, and they started screaming, 'Oh my God, oh my God.' Then the plane hit the part of the window that I could see, and it was just a ball of fire," said Heidi Levey.

Among the crowd that witnessed the plane crash were singer LeAnn Rimes and comedian Kevin Nealon.

"Horrible plane crash here at Aspen airport. Exploded into flames as it was landing," Nealon tweeted.

The sheriff's office identified the fatality as 54-year-old Sergio Carranza Brabata. One person has major to severe injuries, and one person has minor to moderate injuries. Their identities have not been released.

Mexican officials say the plane took off early Sunday morning from an airport outside Mexico City. It made a stop in Tucson, Ariz., before the deadly landing in Aspen.

At this point it is unclear why the jet crashed. The airport remains shut down until the NTSB removes the charred wreckage from the runway.


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