Thursday morning updates on Lanai plane crashUPDATED 9:47 AM HST Feb 27, 2014Video Transcript
last night. 3 people are dead ... 3 others in the hospital after their plane went down shortly after taking off from Lanai airport. Aboard the flight ... co-workers heading home. This morning the investigation begins into what went wrong. Good morning Hawaii. I'm Lara Yamada. I'm Ann Sterling. The Maui community is --in shock -- this morning. 6 people were on board that plane -- including the pilot. Four passengers --- with the Maui Department of Planning. Two of them died -- as did the pilot. Another is a deputy attorney with Maui County's CORPORATION COUNSEL -- which provides legal advice. Aviation officials say the plane that crashed was a twin engine Piper PA31... That was chartered through Maui Air. They say it went down in an area known as Miki Basin -- about a mile southeast of the airport. We spoke with county spokesperson Rod Antone... who says this tragedy is very personal to many on the island. 15:44-06 I WAS IN SHOCK. I CAN'T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENED TO THE COUNTY. I THINK IT WAS WHEN A PLANE CRASHED BACK IN THE 90S.... I WAS A REPORTER THEN. IT'S WEIRD BEING ON THIS SIDE. Officials say the plane burst into flames... And the three survivors were all badly burned. They are now recovering this morning - on Oahu. KITV4's Nana Ohkawa joins us live ... with more. Nana? Lara Ann... The three who died are the pilot of the plane and two dept. Of planning employees. The survivors.. Two other planning employees were airlifted here to Queens medical Center in critical condition ...along with a deputy attorney for Corporation Counsel in serious condition. The passengers had been on Lanai yesterday night for a lanai planning commission meeting from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Maui County chartered a return flight on Maui Air which left a little after 9. Just about 20 minutes later ...A survivor called 911... It was a man who said he had been in a plane crash. We spoke to a man over the phone who said he was the one who transported the group to and from the airport on Lanai. Neal Rabaca - transported 8:40:09 - 8:40:18: "THEY USUALLY COME OVER ON the BOAT I GUESS, ON EXPEDITIONS FROM MAUI. I GUESS THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME I PICKED THEM UP. COMING ON ONE CHARTER THIS LATE." There was a small brushfire that ignited from the plane crash. Maui police and investigators will be on scene at the crash site at first light this morning. The identities of the people on the plane will be released by police after they conduct their investigation. Lanai resident Michele -- who declined to give her last name -- described to us what she saw in the moments AFTER the crash. She says -- "we saw two ambulances going to the site sometime after 10:15, the airport fire truck returned to the airport minutes later. We saw one air ambulance landing on it's 2nd attempt. The wind gusts are strong."