Columbia plane crash leaves 4 dead; 2 critically injured

By: Ashley Jeffery Email
By: Ashley Jeffery Email

News 12 @ 11 o'clock -- September 20, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC-- This is what's left of the Learjet. Inside, six people and only two would make it out alive; drummer Travis Barker and DJ Adam Goldstein. The two performed in the concert series in five points just hours before their plane crashed around midnight.

"We know the air traffic controllers on duty did observe sparks from the aircraft as it was going down the runway and they immediately called the airport fire and rescue."

And when sparks started to fly, that's when everything went terribly wrong.

"The NTSB says the plane hit this fence before crossing over Highway 302 where it later crashed and burned."

TMZ is reports Barker and Goldstein jumped out of the burning plane after it hit the embankment. The coroner says the pilot and the co-pilot died. So did Barker's security guard Chris Baker. It was first reported that the men may have been heading back to Van Nuys on the private plane because Baker's wife was in labor, but those reports were later denied.

Twenty four hours later, the Columbia Metropolitan Airport is still closed, leaving flights grounded and travelers stranded.

"We appreciate the overall patience of the travelers, it's been a big help to us particularly in view of the tragic situation."

The NTSB says they found parts and rubber from the two year old aircraft on the runway. And they say they'll be investigating whether or not it was maintenanced properly before the crash.

"We'll be looking back not just in the last day or two but we'll be looking back for longer periods of time with respect to operations, schedules and maintenance for this aircraft."

But those answers may bring little comfort to the families and fans around the world affected by this tragedy.

The NTSB also say the damage to the black box is extensive so they might not be able to use it after all. Another question here, did the plane ever actually take off? That's something investigators are also working to answer right now.

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