Death toll in Hawaiian skydiving plane crash rises to 11

Eleven people are dead after a twin-engine aircraft carrying skydivers went down near a Hawaii airfield Friday night, officials said.

The crash occurred near Dillingham Airfield, on the north shore of Oahu, the Hawaii Department of Transportation said.

All 11 people aboard the King Air twin-engine plane perished, authorities said.

The state’s transportation agency had initially said first responders reported six deaths. The death toll rose to nine and then to 11. The department tweeted there were “no survivors.”

“It’s very difficult. In my 40 years as a firefighter here in Hawaii, this is the most tragic aircraft incident we’ve had,” Fire Chief Manuel Neves said, according to NBC affiliate KHNL.

Officials with the Honolulu Fire Department told KHNL that the first reports of a downed aircraft came in at 6:30 p.m., and when firefighters arrived they found the wreckage of the plane fully engulfed in flames.

The airport is a public and military use airport, but officials told the station that the plane that crashed was not a military aircraft.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii tweeted a traffic advisory that stated a highway was closed due to a skydiving aircraft accident.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation operates Dillingham Airfield under a lease from the Army, according to its website.

Kirk Caldwell, mayor of the city and county of Honolulu, said in a statement that he was closely following developments.

“At this time our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims,” Caldwell said.

Two inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration were at the crash site Friday evening, the agency said in a statement.

The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter on Saturday morning that it is sending a team to investigate the crash.