Guam – One person was killed and 6 others injured this morning when a Star Marianas Air plane crashed on Saipan shortly after taking off for Tinian.
The accident happened about 6:15 am. It was the first flight of the day for Saipan’s airport. The plane involved was a Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six.
The Marianas Variety reports that the person who died was a Chiense woman. The paper also reports that 5 other people, including the pilot, are in critical condition. The pilot is identified as Capt. Jae Choi who suffered a fractured skull and massive head trauma, according to the Variety.
The 7th person aboard, a Filipino man, was treated for minor injuries . He has been identified as Juanito Sibitara.
There was a fire associated with the crash. Pictures from the scene show the plane off the runway and a group of trees behind the plane are burnt from the after crash fire.
READ the release fromthe Commonwealth Ports Authority below:
SAIPAN F- At 6:20 this morning, a Star Marianas Aircraft crashed While departing from Saipan International Airport. Air Traffic Control Tower noticed ARFF Via emergency hot-line and responded to the accident site.CPA activated the Airport Emergency Plan and all emergency mutual aid agencies were notified and they responded to the scene. There were seven passengers on board including the pilot.
There is one fatality. All the victims including the decease were triage and transported to the hospital by 8:50 am.
NTSB and FAA have been notified. FBI, DPS and Ports Police are conducting and gathering information regarding the incident and CPA will give an update as more information comes in from the investigation.
According to their website, Star Marianas Air provides air service between Saipan and Tinian 24 hours each day using Piper aircraft. Each aircraft has 6 passenger seats and the company can provide up to 4 aircraft at any one given time.
Star Marianas Air is a new airline in the CNMI that only received its certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to conduct air carrier operations this past April 1, according to the Saipan Tribune.
PLANE CRASH – CHCC 11/19/2012
6:45: Plane Crash reported to CHCC
7:00: CHCC Emergency Staff activated
Notification of Key Personnel
There are 7 passengers on board including Pilot
7:10: Patients arrived at ER
7:15: CHCC EOC Activated
7:20: Two (2) patients arrived at ER
8:14: CHCC EOC is communicating with DOD/USCG-MARSEC Guam
8:08: CHCC Physician confirmed one (1) Fatality on site(Airport) at 8:08AM
8:30: Mental Health Assistance Arrived – NMI Redcross
CHCC and Chinese Interpreter – Activated
8:50: ER Doctor Reports:
4 patients – Stabilized
1 patient – Released
1 patient – critical
9:20: Body arrived at the CHCC Morgue 9:20AM
9:30: CHCC EOC Communication with USCG is on-going