Plane crash injures 2 at airstrip in Christian County

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OZARK, Mo. (KY3) - A small plane hit some power lines and crashed near a rural air strip between Ozark and Chadwick on Thursday afternoon. Sheriff Brad Cole said two people in the plane have moderate to severe injuries.

The Gimlin asphalt airstrip is next to Highway W, south of Missouri 14. The crash was shortly before 2:30.

Stan Smith, a freelance photographer, said the plane is a Beechcraft Bonanza. He said he was in the airport office when it took off about 45 minutes before the crash. He said the people in the plane are a flight instructor and the new owner of the plane.

Smith said the owner and the instructor planned to fly all afternoon for insurance purposes but something happened and they had to make an emergency landing, which is when it hit power lines 200 to 300 yards from the runway.

Christian County sheriff's deputies, state troopers, Ozark firefighters and paramedics rushed to the scene. A battalion chief says there was no fire and no one was trapped in the wreckage. The chief said the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

The crash knocked out electric service to some people in the area. White River Electric Cooperative's website reported 484 outages.

White River Electric Cooperative said late Thursday afternoon that its crews were working to replace a utility pole and related equipment so it could restore service.

“Our immediate response hinged on safety,” said White River chief executive officer Chris Hamon. “Once we were cleared, our crews were ready to respond. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the two involved in the accident.”

White River restored power to all of its members by about 7:30 p.m.

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Scott Brady and Sean Barnhill contributed to this report.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this report said Stan Smith heard at the airport that the plane had engine trouble. Smith said later that he went to the hospital and talked to the injured men, and they said the plane did not have engine trouble. They described the problem as pilot error.