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US crash kills 1 Mexican pilot, injures 2 others

January 6, 2014

DENVER (AP) — Two pilots from Mexico who survived a deadly plane crash in Colorado were being treated for serious injuries Monday.

Hospital spokeswoman Kimberly Williams said Miguel Henriqez was in critical condition and Moises Carranza was in serious condition.

They were injured Sunday when a private plane crashed while trying to land in the wealthy mountain town of Aspen.

One was co-piloting along with 54-year-old Sergio Carranza Brabata of Mexico, who was killed.

It was not clear who was in control of the plane when it crashed. Officials say the flight originated in Mexico.

The Aspen airport is challenging because it is surrounded by mountains, forcing pilots to descend sharply.

The plane went off the right side of the runway, flipped over and burst into flames, said Alex Burchetta, director of operations for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

“The injuries were traumatic in nature, but they were not thermal,” he said. “So the fire never reached inside the cabin as far as we can tell.”

Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, confirmed the plane was a Canadair CL-600, a midsized private jet. The aircraft is registered to the Bank of Utah in Salt Lake City, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. Bank officials did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.

Aspen attracts celebrities, and the region’s popularity has left its airport often dealing with numerous private aircraft.

Country singer LeAnn Rimes Cibrian tweeted via @leannrimes on Sunday: “So sad! Horrible plane crash we just saw happen at the Aspen airport.”

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Associated Press writers Jake Coyle in New York and Adriana Gomez Licon in Mexico City contributed to this report.

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