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3 Dead in Parking Lot Plane Crash

This article is more than 11 years old.

Three people are dead after a small plane carrying a cancer patient to Boston for treatment crashed in a grocery store parking lot.

Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the three were on board the single engine Beechcraft Bonanza when it went down in the parking lot at a Hannaford grocery store at about 10:15 a.m. today.

The plane was being operated by Angel Flight Northeast, which carries people who need to travel for medical treatment, but can't afford it.

Amy Camerlin, a spokeswoman for the organization, said a cancer patient and his wife were being flown to Logan International Airport in Boston so the man could be treated at the nearby Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

"Right now our primary concern is the family," she said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family."

Peters said the plane took off from Westhampton Beach on Long Island, N.Y., and was carrying the pilot and a Long Island couple. He did not identify the victims.

The registered owner of the plane is Janet Keene of Brookfield, Conn., but she was not on board, according to her husband Kenneth Keene, who called the crash "a disaster."

Kenneth Keene said his wife inherited the plane and sometimes hired a pilot so they could use it recreationally, since neither of them could fly it. He said the plane was used by Angel Flight about once a month and he knew about no problems with the aircraft.

An Associated Press photographer on the scene said the plane crashed about 500 feet across from the store entrance, near a road leading out of the lot. A chaplain was on the scene of the wreck late morning today.

Store manager Arthur Dechellis said the plane crashed in an area where people rarely park and no cars were hit.

"I didn't see it, I just heard an explosion," he said. "When I looked outside, it was on fire."

Dechellis said the store remained open.

This program aired on August 12, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

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