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Crash response helps families

A commuter plane crashed into a hangar at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport Wednesday.

BY DISASTER NEWS NETWORK | CHARLOTTE, N.C. | January 8, 2003

A commuter plane crashed into a hangar at the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport Wednesday, killing the 19 passengers and two crew members on board.

"The plane was flight 5481 of Air Midwest. It crashed as it took off bound for Greer, South Carolina," said FAA spokesperson Christopher White in a prepared statement.

The plane, which crashed into a hangar and caught fire, was completely destroyed.

The plane was a Beech 1990 turboprop, according to the FAA.

The hangar was evacuated following the crash.

Officials from the airport and the National Transportation

Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the accident.

This crash follows a year in which no fatalities were recorded aboard commercial planes in the U.S.

According to Roy Winter, of the Church of the Brethren, a four-person disaster childcare team was dispatched to the crash site, at the request of the Red Cross.

Winter said the team members will help counsel the children of the familes of those killed in the crash, "while the parents are involved in briefings and going through grieving."

The team will establish "a kid-friendly place" and provide "informal opportunies for them to grieve," he said.

"Parents are pretty distracted at this time,so even the best parents may not be able to attend to their children's needs as they would normally," Winter said.

The Salvation Army also responded to the crash by sending in a mobile kitchen.

For those seeking information on the crash, US Airways has established a toll-free hotline: 1-800-679-8215.


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