10 People Dead, Including Family of Four, After Plane Crashes During Takeoff in Texas

Damaged hangar at Addison Municipal Airport
(Shaban Athuman/The Dallas Morning News vía AP)

All those on board a twin-engine plane taking off from Addison Municipal Airport on Sunday died after the aircraft crashed into a hangar and burst into flames, reports say.

Eight passengers and two crew members died shortly after taking off for St. Petersburg, Florida, that morning when the luxury twin-engine Beechcraft BE-350 King Air veered to the left, rolled over and clipped the nearby hangar, WFAA reported. Ladd Sanger, a pilot at the airport, said he heard the commotion nearby.

“When I left the hangar, I saw the smoke, and I knew there had been an aircraft crash,” Sanger told WFAA. “The fact that this airplane was so close to the ground and departed controlled flight so abruptly — means there has to be something that went seriously wrong — and the pilot had very very little time.”

Among the dead is a family of four: Brian and Ornella Ellard and their two children Alice and Dylan Maritato, according to KXAS.  The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.

Officials with John Paul II High School in Plano announced the deaths in a letter to families on Monday, saying that Alice was expected to graduate in 2022 and Dylan would have finished eighth grade at All Saints Catholic School in 2020, KXAS reported.

The National Transportation Safety Board has not determined the cause of the crash, and officials said they couldn’t confirm the tail number on the plane because it had recently changed ownership, according to WFAA. Although the plane did not have a black box, it contained electronic recording equipment that could shed light on what happened.

Footage after the crash showed smoke coming from the building and firefighters working to quell the flames. A plane and helicopter in the hangar were damaged, but no one was in the building at the time of the crash, the Associated Press reported.

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