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Two fatalities reported in Medford plane crash

Firefighters put out the flames of a plane crash that reportedly killed two people Sunday evening. No individuals on the ground are believed to have been injured. [Medford Fire Department photo]

Two people reportedly were killed in the fiery plane crash at a Medford car dealership near the Medford airport Sunday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

An FAA preliminary report shows that a pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries in the crash reported at 4:52 p.m. Sunday in the 3000 block of Biddle Road, according to an FAA accident database and Sunday evening news releases from Medford police and firefighters.

The aircraft with two people on board crashed into an Airport Chevrolet parking lot shortly after takeoff, according to the FAA report. The aircraft’s FAA registration number shows it was a 1977 Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain registered to a single owner out of Churchill, Nevada.

The twin-engine plane — a stretched version of the Piper Navajo — lines up with Sunday evening police reports describing the aircraft involved as a nine-passenger propeller plane.

The FAA accident report shows that one member of the plane’s flight crew and one passenger were killed in the crash. No other occupants were listed. No one on the ground was believed to have been injured in the crash.

“Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances into a car dealership parking lot and caught on fire,” the official description of the crash states.

The fire and crash investigation prompted road closures Sunday evening, along with extensive damage while local and federal crews investigated, according to the city of Medford local government Facebook page.

By 5 p.m., Medford police and rescue personnel had secured the scene of the crash. By 9:33 p.m., Biddle was reopened, as was the cross street Automation Way. Chevy Way, however, was closed until Tuesday morning. (Updated Dec. 7)

MedfordAlert reported on Twitter that power went out in the area due to the crash, which sparked a three-alarm “active fire fight” at Airport Chevrolet, and road closures around the airport corridor. In a video, multiple vehicles were shown damaged or covered in foam flame retardant.