5 killed after small private jet crashes in rural Virginia

Virginia State Police

BATH COUNTY, Va. — Five people, including a child, were killed on Sunday when a small private jet crashed in a rural area of west-central Virginia, authorities said.

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The twin-engine aircraft crashed at about 3 p.m. EDT in woods near Ingalls Field Airport in the Hot Springs area of Bath County, WDBJ-TV reported. The plane was a Westwind Astra airplane, police told WSLS-TV.

According to the Virginia State Police, the pilot, co-pilot, two adults and a child were on board the jet and died, the television station reported. Officials do not believe there were any other passengers on the aircraft.

A state police spokesman told The Associated Press that the plane caught fire on impact. Investigators were working to confirm the origin of the flight and its destination, Sgt. Rick Garletts told the news organization in an email.

According to WDBJ, a police spokesperson said the flight originated in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was not scheduled to land at Ingalls Field Airport.

It is unclear what caused the jet to crash. There had been high winds in the area, but it was unclear if that was a factor in the crash.

According to the state police, the aircraft fell short of the runway and skidded through some trees before hitting the side of a hill, WFXR-TV reported.

The crash is being investigated by Virginia State Police, Bath County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board, according to WDBJ.