- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) - Federal officials on Thursday were investigating a fiery small plane crash in northeastern Georgia that killed one person and left another seriously injured.

The plane with the two aboard was returning to the Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville Thursday morning shortly after departure and went down about 100 yards from the end of the runway, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said in an emailed statement.

“They radioed in an emergency stating that they had engine trouble - possible full engine failure. Then again as they were coming back in to the airport they struck power lines,” said Gainesville police spokesman Kevin Holbrook.

Holbrook said a sanitation worker nearby pulled a passenger from the wreckage, but the fire prevented him from rescuing the second. Helicopter footage from local television stations showed the wreckage on a two-lane road near a charred fence and burned grass.

The plane was destroyed by the fire and authorities weren’t immediately sure of what model it was, Bergen said. The survivor was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital with serious to critical injuries, Holbrook said.

“We’re very fortunate that the plane did not hit any of the local businesses,” Holbrook said.

No one on the ground was injured and the crash caused a power outage at the airport, Holbrook said. The identity of the person killed hasn’t been released.

The FAA is investigating and Bergen said the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause.

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