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Small plane plows into factory

Five passengers die in explosion at MA sheet metal factory.


A sheet metal factory here erupted in flames Friday morning when a small turboprop plane crashed into the building. Seven people were believed to be aboard the plane -

five were killed and two seriously injured, according to Lt. Robert Thomas of the Leominster Fire Department.

The explosion injured one factory worker, who was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated and released, Thomas said.

The turboprop, apparently a 10-seater, was en route to Fitchburg, about a mile and a half from the crash site, he said. Leominster is located about 35 miles northwest of Boston.

The factory, owned by the D & E Corp., "was totally involved in flames," Thomas said. "The building looks like it's in pretty rough shape."

State and federal investigators were at the scene of the crash Friday afternoon. An area of several blocks around the crash site was blocked off, and the main road through town, Route 13, was closed.

Thomas characterized the neighborhood as "an isolated industrial area."

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