Thursday, May 19, 2011

How did they survive? U.S. military tanker bursts into flames in crash at California air base - but all on board escape with their lives - 19th May

An aeroplane has skidded off a runway and burst into flames as it took off from an air base injuring three people.

The Boeing 707 tanker plane was taking off from Point Mugu Naval Air Station in Southern California, just north of Los Angeles according to a spokesman.

Thick black smoke and flames were seen pouring from the aircraft after it slid off the runway at about 5.25pm, local time.

All three people on board, civilian employees, escaped with minor injuries, air station spokesman Terry Reid confirmed.

He said the plane was operated by Omega Aerial Refuelling Services which contracts with the Navy to provide fleet operations support and fuel transport services.

A helicopter dumped several loads of water on the fire with little effect while firefighters on the ground appeared to be letting the fire burn but were dousing the area around the tanker.

The stricken plane came to a rest within a few hundred feet of the Pacific Ocean, but Reid said none of the fuel went into the ocean.

It is not known where the tanker was flying to at the time of the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board was investigating the cause of the crash.

Omega president Stewart Orr declined to comment. Read More