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Hattiesburg, NTSB officials discuss deadly Tuesday night plane crash

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 10:32 AM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - City officials and members of the National Transportation Safety Board held a news conference Thursday in regards to the deadly plane crash that claimed the lives of four people in Hattiesburg late Tuesday night.

The conference began shortly after 10:30 a.m., as HPD public information officer Ryan Moore, NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator Alex Lemishko and Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker discussed the next steps into the investigation of the crash.

Moore said members of the NTSB arrived at the crash site Thursday morning to begin their investigation.

According to Lemishko, the NTSB will be on scene for the next several days examining factors, including the aircraft, a Mitsubishi MU-2B-60, and the pilot.

“The goal of being on the scene, as far as the NTSB’s concern, is to collect enough perishable information regarding the accident, and we are in the very preliminary stages of that,” said Lemishko. “As you can see, there were multiple people affected... We’re being very sensitive to the Mayor’s Office and the local authorities in conducting our investigation.”

After the NTSB leaves the scene within the next few days, according to Lemishko, they will do follow-up examinations and investigative work.

Lemishko also mentioned that a preliminary report from the NTSB will be published to the public within the next 15 days.

Barker spoke about how difficult of a time this is for the community, but gave encouraging words about the city’s resiliency.

“I know that this is an accident that... is heavy on the minds of everyone in Hattiesburg. I know we have two families whose lives are forever changed by this, and I hope people will continue to give their prayers and condolences,” said Barker.

“Again, every time our city is faced with a challenge, the best of us will show up. When we are faced with adversity, our city steps up.”

Moore said citizens should avoid coming to the crash site area as personnel from NTSB will be coming to investigate the crash and it will help traffic flow as people have been trying to view the crash site.

“This is a matter of the NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This is a matter for public safety,” Moore said.

Annie Christie Drive is closed from Evans Street to Collins Street, but Edwards Street is now open to traffic.

Citizens are urged to not touch debris from the crash if they locate any around their homes. If you have debris from the crash around your home, contact HPD at (601) 544-7900.

If you have any cell phone video, security camera video, photos or anything from the scene of the crash from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, or moments before the crash, you are asked to send it to a member of the FAA at addison.baxter49@gmail.com.

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