SWANZEY, N.H. (AP) -- A small airplane crashed in flames shortly after taking off, killing all seven people on board -- three generations of one family.
Keene Mayor Michael Blastos said the victims were two grandparents, two parents and their children, who had been visiting relatives in nearby Newfane, Vt., and staying in Keene.
Witnesses said the twin-engine Beech Baron had just taken off from Keene's Dillant-Hopkins Airport in Swanzey and was apparently attempting to return to the airport when it went down Monday, producing a large fireball.
"It's pretty much just a burnt mass," said Alan Dobrowolski of the state Division of Aeronautics.
There was no distress call before the plane went down, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters.
Ed Appel, who runs a flight school at the airport, said the takeoff appeared to go smoothly.
"When it left the hangar, everything seemed normal," Appel said.
No commercial flights operate from the airport, which has no control tower. Instead, the plane had been in routine contact with the Boston FAA center in Nashua.
The plane crashed about 500 feet from the home of Charlotte Kendall.
"I heard a boom -- it shook our house -- and then another boom," she said. "It was too hot to get near. You could see there was nothing they could do."
Peters said authorities could not confirm the identities of the victims until after autopsies.
However, The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette said a relative identified them as George and Julia Coyle of Charleston, W.Va.; their daughter Julia Gruver and her husband, Steve Gruver, of Lafayette, La., and their three children, Amanda, 15, and twins Sarah and Elizabeth, 12.
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