- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

AMERY, Wis. (AP) - A small plane crash-landed in a western Wisconsin field and caught fire, killing all four people onboard, authorities said.

The single-engine Beechcraft went down Monday evening in Alden, a town about 50 miles northeast of Minneapolis. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, which scorched the surrounding field, and found the four victims dead inside the aircraft, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.

Karen Olson said the plane crashed on her property about 200 yards from her home.

“I heard a plane,” she told the St. Paul Pioneer Press (https://bit.ly/1IoHWSR ). “At first I thought it was a helicopter. Then it disappeared.”

Olson said she didn’t see the crash, but a neighbor who saw it pounded on her door.

“He said it was kind of twirling around, going down to the ground,” Olson said. “Then it flattened out and he thought they had it (under control). Then all of a sudden he said he saw the ball of fire.”

Authorities did not say where the plane took off from or where it was headed.

The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Anoka, Minnesota, will conduct the autopsies and identity the victims.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

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