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Small planes collide near Las Vegas, killing all four on board

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Four people were killed on Sunday when the small planes they were traveling in collided in the skies over North Las Vegas Airport, authorities said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said each single-engine plane had two people on board. There was no indication from local first responders that anyone on the ground had been killed or injured.

A Piper PA-46 was about to land when it hit a Cessna 172, FAA spokesman Eva Lee Ngai said in a statement.

“The Piper crashed into a field east of Runway 30-Right and the Cessna fell into a water retention pond,” she said.

North Las Vegas Police Department received initial reports of the crashes at 12:04 a.m., Officer Alexander Cuevas said.

The FAA said the planes collided in the “traffic pattern” — the virtual airborne lane — associated with the airport run by the government of Clark County, Nevada.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate with the help of the FAA.

Mid-air collisions are rare, but not unprecedented.

One of the worst happened in 1978, when a Cessna 172 with two people on board collided with a passenger plane above the San Diego community of North Park. All 137 people on the two planes, along with seven people on the ground, were killed.

Maya Brown contributed.


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