Disaster struck Wichita Thursday morning when a small airplane barreled into a building at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.
According to CNN, a Hawker Beechcraft King aircraft took off from the airport around 10 a.m. and struck the FlightSafety International building after the pilots discovered they had lost power immediately after takeoff.
According to numbers provided to NBC News by Wichita Fire Chief Ronald Blackwell, four people were pronounced dead at the scene, five have been injured and four are unaccounted for.
According to Kansas.com, the aircraft crashed into the roof of the building causing it to go up in flames. However, as of 11 a.m., firefighters have put out the fire and only a few clouds of smoke remained. Blackwell told CNN there were 100 people inside the building at the time of the crash.
“The injuries are serious injuries,” Blackwell said to CNN. “We’re grateful a large number of people appear to have gotten out of the building.”
Kansas.com reported that five people have been taken to Via Christi St. Francis hospital.
Geographically, the FlightSafety International building houses the FlightSafety Academy – which sits across the street from the airport and has not disrupted commercial airline service. The plane crashed into the training and simulation center of the academy.
According to the FlightSafety website, the academy is a Berkshire Hathaway Company that trains people who aspire to fly commercial aircrafts. The academy has produced over 17,000 pilots who fly for 62 airlines worldwide.
The Hawker Beechcraft King Aircraft, according to the Aerospace Technology website, is a twin-engine turboprop aircraft that has been made since 1964. They are durable and used for corporate, commercial and special mission purposes. The aircraft can have anywhere from seven to nine seats and the rear cabin door includes airstairs. However, at this time, there is no confirmation of how many passengers were on board the aircraft.
According to the NTSB Accident and Synopses Database, this is not the only aircraft incident that Wichita’s Mid-Continent Airport has encountered this year. The database shows that on July 7, a Cessna aircraft experienced a landing gear collapse upon arrival at Mid-Continent Airport.
The database also shows that this this is the second fatal accident at Mid-Continent Airport within a two-year span. In November 2012, a Cessna aircraft lost engine power upon takeoff and collided with a hedgerow during landing, killing the pilot who was the sole occupant of the aircraft.
More information will be provided as it becomes available.