published Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Sheriff: Multiple deaths in western N.C. plane crash

UNAKA, N.C. — Authorities say a twin-engine plane en route from Georgia to Kentucky has crashed in a mountainous western area of North Carolina, killing people aboard.

Cherokee County Sheriff Keith Lovin told the Asheville Citizen-Times that Wednesday’s crash resulted in “multiple fatalities.” He did not elaborate.

Unaka is a few miles north of Murphy, N.C.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen confirmed that a Beech Baron 58 aircraft had gone down about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday near the small community of Unaka, about 125 miles west of Asheville in a region near the state line with Tennessee.

Rescue personnel say the plane’s wreckage is accessible only by all-terrain vehicle and on foot.

Bergen said the plane had left a suburban Atlanta airport earlier in the day, bound for Hazard, Ky.

The plane is registered to Aero Resources Corp. of Hazard.

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