Twenty-one people escaped without serious injuries after the private plane they were in crashed and burst into flames Tuesday morning near Houston, officials said.
The McDonnell Douglas MD-87 jet was about to depart from Houston Executive Airport when it crashed into a fence and caught fire in a field before it could take flight, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and local authorities.
All 18 passengers and three crew members escaped the wreck, which occurred around 10 a.m. in Brookshire, west of Houston. Two people were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.
“Today we absolutely, positively got the best outcome we could hope for in this incident,” said Tim Gibson, the director of the emergency services district that serves parts of Waller and Harris counties.
The plane was headed to Boston for the Houston Astros’ game against the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series, said an attorney for the plane’s owner, J. Alan Kent.
Kent was on board and was shaken but OK, his attorney said.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.
“We are extremely grateful that there were no fatalities or serious injuries,” said a statement on behalf of Kent. “We will be working with the FAA and the NTSB to ensure that we are complying with all of their requirements.”
The plane was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, but everyone on it had already gotten out, officials said. The youngest passenger was 10 years old.
Cheryl McCaskill, who was aboard the plane, told the Houston Chronicle how she and others escaped and fled.
“When it finally stopped everyone went, ‘Get out! Get out! Get out!’ We jumped out on that inflatable thing and then everyone went ‘Get away!'” McCaskill told the newspaper.