Two people were killed and two others injured when a private jet crashed down an embankment at Greenville’s Downtown Airport on Thursday.
The Greenville City Fire Department said the plane’s pilot and co-pilot died in the crash — one at the scene and the other at a hospital. Two passengers — a husband and wife — were reported in critical condition at Greenville Memorial Hospital, according to Greenville affiliate WORD.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials are investigating the crash. Airport Director Joe Frasher said it appeared the Falcon 50 plane was unable to stop after landing, although it is not clear what went wrong.
The county coroner’s office identified the pilot as 49-year-old John Caswell of Port St. Lucie, Florida and the co-pilot as 66-year-old Stephen Fox of Indian Rocks, Florida.
Photos released by Greenville Police show the plane broke in two and its fuselage ended up on the edge of a roadway next to the airport. Frasher said the plane’s engine was still running when first responders arrived at the scene. He said mechanics were able to shut off the engine while firefighters entered the cabin.
Police Chief Ken Miller says the plane will remain there until federal investigators finish their work. “This will be an active scene for quite some time,” MIller told reporters at the crash site. “The roadway will be shut down for an extensive period of time because the FAA will need to do the work that they do.”
Miller said firefighters are working to stop leaking jet fuel and foam from making its way into nearby streams. He recommended residents downstream of the site avoid the area and avoid smoking with jet fuel fumes still in the air.