Federal investigators looking into fiery Texas plane crash headed to Boston
WALLER, Texas - The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday it will be examining the crash site in Waller County looking into what caused Tuesday's fiery plane crash.
BACKGROUND: Texas plane crash latest: Plane was headed to Boston; all onboard survive, 2 hospitalized
NTSB investigators are now combing through the airplane’s maintenance records and looking at everything possible to determine what caused the crash.
"Including airworthiness, power plants and engines, survival factors, operational factors, and human performance," explains Michael Graham with the NTSB.
Investigators are also interviewing the 18 passengers, three crew members, and witnesses including Harry Johnson who owns the flight club inside the Houston Executive Airport where the plane left Tuesday morning.
Johnson took a video of the MD 87 as it attempted to take off for Boston so the passengers could go watch the Houston Astros play and in the video you see a puff of smoke leave the plane as it rolls down the runway. The NTSB says it isn’t sure yet if that smoke had anything to do with the crash.
"I’ve watched his plane take off a thousand times. When they didn’t take off that’s when I felt something was wrong," says Johnson who says he immediately thought about a husband and wife in their 30’s that he saw getting on the plane just minutes earlier.
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Moments later he saw smoke and fire as the plane went "through the airport perimeter fence," Graham explains, "across the road, there was another fence that was below the power lines, went through there, took out the power lines between two power poles and came to rest north of that site. We have a lot of questions ourselves at this time which is why we’re here."
One of those questions, how did all 21 people make it out of this horrible plane crash alive?
"We want to know ourselves," Graham said. "We have a group of survival factor experts here that want to know that because obviously it’s a big deal that we had no fatalities and we want to know why. So if something like this happens again we’ll have the recommendations in place to prevent it from being a fatality accident."
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"I think the Lord was looking after them," Johnson said. "It wasn’t their time."
Ken Melber is one of two passengers taken to the hospital after the crash. Melber has a fracture in his back and his son says he may have to have surgery. A woman was also hospitalized and has already been released after breathing in fumes while escaping the burning plane.