- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say two people died after a small plane crashed while taking off Monday at Tucson International Airport.

Airport officials say they won’t release the identities of the victims until all family members are notified.

Federal Aviation Administration officials say the twin-engine Beechcraft BE300 crashed into a blast fence under circumstances while taking off.

The airport said that commercial flights were not affected but a parking garage near the crash site had been closed.

Airport public safety chief John Ivanoff says the plane skidded for “some distance” before crashing and catching fire. The fire sent large, black plumes of smoke into the sky.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were en route from Phoenix to investigate the fatal crash along with the FAA.

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