Authorities said a small plane carrying three adults and three children crashed into the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday. All passengers aboard the aircraft – believed to be members of the same family traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday – are feared to be dead.
“We hope there are survivors, but it does not look promising,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told reporters.
Emergency crews were struggling to reach the scene of the crash in the rugged mountains about 40 miles east of downtown Phoenix. A 12-person rescue crew began hiking to the site at around 9pm, Babeu said. He estimated that it would take them a minimum of six hours to reach the crash site.
The crash, which took place around 6:30pm local time, reportedly caused a fireball that could be seen for miles away,
“The flames lit up the mountain,” said Kevin Cunningham, a local resident that was talking on the phone from his back porch when he saw the crash a few miles away.
Cunningham added the plane appeared to be flying level before the crash and that there were no visible signs that it was in distress.
Federal agents arrived in Arizona today to begin investigating what caused the tragic plane crash.