A single-engine plane crashed and caught fire shortly after taking off on Friday afternoon at a suburban airport just outside of Atlanta, killing all four passengers, according to authorities.
The crash occurred at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in Chamblee, Georgia, at around 1:10 p.m. local time, according to a release from the Federal Aviation Administration. At least 15 local firefighters raced onto the runway to extinguish the flames.
“The next thing we know we just saw a fireball. The whole plane went up in fire,” an onlooker told ABC station WSB-TV.
Although officials did not initially release the identities of those killed in the crash, we now know that the victims included CEO Jonathan Rosen of Entaire Global Companies, his 14-year-old daughter Allison, and two family friends. Rosen was piloting the plane when it crashed, according to Fox 5 of Atlanta.
In a press conference yesterday, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Daniel Boggs said the group was headed to Houston on what is currently believed to have been a “personal family trip.”
Although the cause for the crash is still being investigated, Boggs said that the plane was “full of fuel” and had recently undergone several engine modifications.
“We’ll be looking at the weight of the aircraft. We’ll be looking at the engine,” Boggs said. “We’ll be looking at the servicing. We’ll be looking at the qualifications of the pilot.”