Firefighting plane crashes near Reno airport, killing 3 on board

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Investigators will try to determine why an air tanker being used to drop retardant on a wildfire in the Sierra Nevada crashed, killing all three crew members on board.

An FAA spokesman says preliminary witness reports suggest the aircraft had lost part of one engine or a wing after taking off from an airport in Reno, Nevada.

The plane went down yesterday about a half-mile from the airport and burst into flames.

The twin-engine P2V air tanker was owned by Neptune Aviation of Missoula, Montana. It had been used to fight a wildfire that had forced evacuations during the weekend in California's Alpine County near Hope Valley south of Lake Tahoe.

The crash occurred as the tanker was taking off on a flight to another blaze in California.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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