Crash of small plane kills four in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico Fri May 23, 2014 11:55pm EDT

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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A small airplane crashed while making a landing approach on Friday outside the southwestern New Mexico town of Silver City, killing all four people aboard and sparking a grass fire that prompted the evacuation of a nearby mobile home park.

Nobody on the ground was hurt in the accident, which occurred shortly before 4 p.m. at the Whiskey Creek Airport east of Silver City, home of Western New Mexico University, state police spokesman Sergeant Damyan Brown said.

A propane tank adjacent to the airport exploded when the plane slammed into it, touching off the grass fire. Authorities evacuated the adjacent trailer park as a precaution, Brown said.

The pilot and three other people aboard the plane all died, but their identities were not immediately available, he said. The cause of the crash was under investigation.

(Reporting by Joe Kolb; Editing by Steve Gorman and Ron Popeski)

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