Friday, December 11, 2015

No sign of crashed plane after mysterious mountain fire

Federal investigators are trying to determine what caused a fire on Guadalupe Peak on Tuesday night that was originally believed to be caused by a crashed airplane. Search crews on the mountain did not find any wreckage Wednesday to indicate an aircraft had crashed, said Lynn Lunsford, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. Local authorities had indicated to the FAA early on that a plane had crashed and reports by pilots surveying the peak indicated the same. Dispatchers received a report of an airplane that had crashed into the east side of Guadalupe Peak around 6 p.m. Tuesday, setting a half-mile stretch of wilderness on fire. Crews searching the area Wednesday morning were left puzzled after no debris was found. Elizabeth Jackson, public information officer with the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, said the fire has been contained. She confirmed that search crews have come up empty handed in the search for debris, survivors or victims of the supposed crash. Jackson said accelerant such as gasoline could have been a factor in the size of the fire on the peak, but said there is no way to confirm yet whether the fire was natural, deliberately set or the result of an accident. Kirkland Air Force Base in Albuquerque and Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo have both said they had no maneuvers or operations in the area which could have caused the fire or a possible crash...more

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