Texas Firefighters Find Plane Crash; One Dead

Aug. 24-- One person is dead after a plane crash in northwestern Travis County on Saturday morning.

The plane crashed in a large field and probably started a brush fire that spread across at least 7 acres before firefighters from several agencies contained it.

First responders noticed smoke about 9:25 a.m. and initially investigated the incident as a brush fire before discovering the remains of the plane.

Although smoke from the fire could be seen a half-mile from the intersection of Singleton Bend Road and RM 1431, the crash site was not visible.

Dan McAlister, assistant fire chief for Travis County Emergency Services District No. 1, described the plane as "totally destroyed."

Firefighters spent most of Saturday afternoon fighting the brush fire around the plane and had it contained by midafternoon, using two STAR Flight helicopters ferrying water from Lake Travis and a nearby pond, McAlister said.

"It's bad when the ambient temperature is as hot as the fire," McAlister said. "The temperatures are not the fireman's friend today."

Six fire departments were on scene Saturday: the Marble Falls Volunteer Fire Department, Travis County Emergency Services District No. 1 and the Austin, Leander, Cedar Park and Balcones Canyonlands fire departments. Deputies from the Travis County sheriff's office were also helping.

Police and fire officials said they didn't know what kind of plane had crashed or any other details about it.

The Department of Public Safety was handling the investigation of the crash until the arrival of investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

A spokesman for the safety board said an investigator would probably be at the crash site by Sunday.

DPS officials did not return calls.

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