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In a tragic accident in Maine Friday night, a Cessna 172 airplane struck a truck during takeoff and killed three passengers. The small plane was about to take off when it hit a truck on the runway, caught fire, and crashed in the woods.

The plane was heading Northward at the Knox County Regional Airport on Friday night when it hit a pickup truck on the runway. It continued to ascend before it started to spiral downward and crashed about 200 to 300 feet into the nearby woods. Witnesses attempted to pull one of the occupants out of the burning wreckage, but the plane was quickly engulfed in flames. The plane was destroyed by the fire, making it impossible to know its identifying number, but officials are working to confirm the identities of the three bodies onboard.

John Newcomb, the president of Downeast Air airline company says that the truck was authorized to be at the airport and was driven by a pilot. He would not identify the driver, but mentioned that all planes are required to radio their positions before, during and after takeoff. The flames that engulfed the plane were so hot that they popped the tires and prevented rescuers from approaching. Firefighters had to carry fire extinguishers in order to get their trucks close enough to the scene of the crash. An investigator from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived at the crash site Friday night.

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