Thursday, 4:30 PM
Two dead, two injured in Mansfield airport crash
Officials say fuel was spilled near the wreckage, but it didn't ignite.
By Globe Staff
Two people were killled and two were critically injured in a small plane crash this morning at Mansfield Municipal Airport.
A Cessna 172 with four people aboard was taking off at about 10:45 a.m when the pilot found he wasn't climbing fast enough, said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Holly Baker. The pilot declared mayday and turned the plane to return to the airport when it stalled and crashed.
The National Transportation Safety Board will lead an investigation into the accident, Baker said.
Mansfield Police Chief Arthur O'Neill said that police and firefighters responding to the airport found the plane in rocky underbrush. He said fuel from the aircraft had been spilled in the area and posed a fire risk, so rescuers worked fast to remove the crash victims.
"In the interests of humanity, we had to move quickly," he said.
The plane had four men in their mid-30s aboard. It had taken off in Maine and had made a stop in Mansfield to pick up the fourth passenger before heading to another destination. O'Neill said he didn't know the plane's final destination.
The plane's wreckage could be seen in the southeastern part of the airport, which borders on Interstate 495.
The two injured men were taken to the Brigham and Women's and Beth Israel Deaconess hospitals in Boston, O'Neill said.