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Woman heard screams after fatal plane crash near Henderson airport

Krissy Bashaw was driving to her parents’ house in Anthem on Saturday night when an explosion nearly set her car ablaze.

She’d figured it had been a gas line blast, but she returned after picking up her dad to encounter a horrifying scene.

“They were screaming bloody murder; it was awful,” she said of the passengers on a single-engine Beechcraft Sierra plane that had crashed near Henderson Executive Airport. “I just can’t forget their screams; they were on fire.”

The plane had a mechanical issue shortly after taking off from the airport, which was the site of an unrelated hard landing on Sunday morning. The pilot turned around in an attempt to land, but the plane crashed and caught fire in an uninhabited area just south of the airport, off Volunteer Boulevard. One passenger died at the scene, and another died at a hospital.

“If I had pulled up a little bit more, he would have hit me,” Bashaw said of the aircraft’s pilot. “The fire went right in front of my car.”

Bashaw said she hadn’t seen anything that would indicate a plane was coming down.

“It was just literally an explosion, so I’m guessing there weren’t any lights on the plane …” she said.

The Henderson Fire Department was called to the scene about 7:45 p.m. Two other people on board were hospitalized with serious injuries, while a bystander was hospitalized with minor injuries. Firefighters believed the bystander suffered from smoke inhalation after attempting to assist those injured in the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent an investigator to the scene Sunday evening. Spokesman Keith Holloway said in an email that the investigation is in the early stages and could take a year or two to complete, although a preliminary report could be available within about 10 days.

According to online Federal Administration Association data, the plane’s registered owner is a Southern California company headquartered at 2065 N. Marshall Ave., which is next to Gillespie Field airport and is the address for flight schools California Flight Academy and California Wings of El Cajon.

The Clark County coroner’s office will identify those who died after their families have been notified.

No one was injured in the hard landing at the airport Sunday morning, which might have resulted from a malfunctioning landing gear gear, according to the Henderson Fire Department. The plane sustained minor damage.

Contact Alexis Egeland at aegeland@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0335. Follow @alexis_egeland on Twitter.

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