21 People Survive Fiery Plane Crash Near Texas Airport

·2 min read
Plane crash
Plane crash

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Nearly two dozen people have miraculously survived a fiery plane crash just outside of a privately owned airport in Texas without any major injuries.

The incident occurred on Tuesday around 10 a.m. local time as a McDonnell Douglas MD-87 carrying 21 people was attempting to take off at the Houston Executive Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The aircraft, which was bound for Boston, was rolling down the runway when it struck a fence and caught on fire, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Stephen Woodard told reporters at the scene.

"We're thankful that all of the passengers and crew members were able to extract themselves, and that's when the first responders came in to go to work to extinguish the fire," Woodard said.

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The plane never took off from the runway and came to a stop at a field north of the airport, Tim Gibson, director of the Waller Harris Emergency Services District 200, told reporters.

It's unclear how people aboard the plane managed to escape, though Gibson described the group as "stunned" when first responders arrived.

According to Woodard, one flight attendant, two pilots and 18 passengers were onboard the aircraft at the time of the crash. The youngest passenger was 10 years old.

Officials said that two people were taken to the hospital — one reporting back pain and another with respiratory issues — and later released.

"This is a good day for all, not only for the passengers and crew, but for this community and the first responders," Woodard said.

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The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the crash.

Local news station KHOU reports that the plane was owned by J. Alan Kent, the president and CEO of Flair Builders, and the businessman was one of the aircraft's passengers.

His wife told the outlet that the group was on their way to the American League Championship Series game between the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros when the aircraft crashed.

A representative for Kent did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment, though KHOU reports that his spokesperson said in a statement, "We are extremely grateful that there were no fatalities or serious injuries. We will be working with the FAA and the NTSB to ensure that we are complying with all of their requirements."

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