September 2, 2008

Three Killed in Reno Airtanker Crash

All three crewmembers aboard a firefighting airtanker were killed when the aircraft crashed near Reno, officials said Tuesday.

KOLO-TV in Reno said the FAA confirmed the fatalities after the P2V Neptune went down Monday evening near Stead Airport shortly after takeoff.

Federal investigators were looking into the cause of the tragedy.

Witnesses told KOLO-TV it appeared the plane's two engines were on fire moments before it struck some power lines, sparking a small brush fire and knocking out power to some 1,700 customers.

It was not known where the aircraft was based or if it was assigned to any of the wildfires burning in Northern California, the Reno Gazette said.