More than 20 people safely escape after plane crashes outside Houston
By Jennifer Henderson and Ray Sanchez, CNN
(CNN) -- No major injuries were reported when a Boston-bound plane carrying more than 20 people struck a fence and erupted in flames while taking off at Houston Executive Airport on Tuesday morning, officials said.
All passengers and crew managed to leave the plane safely -- two with minor injuries -- before firefighters extinguished the flames engulfing the McDonnell Douglas MD-87 on a field outside the airport, local officials said.
"This is a good day. This is actually a day of celebration for a lot of people," Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. Stephen Woodard told reporters at the scene.
One person reported back pain, Waller County Judge Trey Duhon reported via Facebook.
"The information we have at this time indicates that the plane did not attain altitude at the end of the runway and went across Morton Road, coming to a rest in the field just north of the airport, where it caught on fire," the judge said.
Another person had respiratory issues, Woodard said. Both were taken to a hospital and later returned to the airport.
The MD-87 "rolled through a fence and caught fire in a field" just after 10 a.m. while attempting to depart, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement.
The plane was headed to Boston for Major League Baseball's American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox, Duhon said.
"It is my understanding this was a charter flight headed to Boston for the Astros playoff game," Duhon wrote in a post on his Facebook page.
The registered owner of the plane is James Alan Kent, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
Flair Builders, a construction company founded by Kent, released a statement Tuesday, saying the crash occurred with one of its affiliate companies.
CNN has reached out to Kent and Flair Builders for comment.
The plane traveled about 500 feet on the runaway before the crash, Woodard said.
Justin Beckendorff, the Precinct 4 Commissioner for Waller County, was having a meeting near where the crash happened and saw a smoke cloud caused by the flames, Duhon said.
Then road and bridge employees, along with Beckendorff, helped pull fire hoses across the pasture to get the fire under control, Duhon added.
"Apparently, our road and bridge crew was just a few hundred yards from the spot where the plane crossed Morton Road, sheering off the tops of the trees along the road with its wings," he wrote.
First responders were seen at the site where the plane appeared to stop across a dirt path and caught fire, according to news footage.
Tim Gibson, director of the Waller Harris Emergency Services District 200, said all passengers had "self-extricated" and the teams assisted them from the field where the plane crashed.
Woodward said there were 18 passengers, two pilots and an attendant on board. He earlier said there were 22 people on the plane.
The youngest passenger was 10 years old, according to the sergeant.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will be investigating, with the NTSB as the lead agency. NTSB investigators arrived to the scene Wednesday morning, according to an NTSB tweet.
"We will be working with the FAA and the NTSB to ensure that we are complying with all of their requirements," Flair Builders said in its statement.
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