A pair of Indiana firefighters died on Monday when their small plane crashed and caught fire just after takeoff, authorities said.
Firefighters Kyle Hibst and David Wittkamper were the only people aboard the single-engine plane when it struck the tail of a larger plane, which had just landed at the Marion Municipal Airport in Marion, Indiana, authorities said.
The parked plane had five aboard, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Their conditions were not immediately clear.
Hibst and Wittkamper were firefighters at the Pipe Creek Fire Department in central Indiana.
“It is with great sadness and sorrow we announce the passing of two of our own,” the department wrote on its Facebook page. “Words cannot express the pain and loss each of us feel. Our hearts go out to both families involved. Rest Easy Brothers we will take it from here.”
Hibst, who had been with the fire department for about seven years, was married with one son, according to the statement. His wife, Kim, was also a member of the fire department.
Wittkamper joined the department in 2007, the statement said. He is survived by his wife Autumn.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.