Three Killed inTanker Crash

RENO - A P2V Neptune multi-engine tanker has crashed outside of the Stead Airport north of Reno. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration says all three crew members onboard were killed.

The twin-engine air tanker crashed just after its 6:11 p.m. takeoff about a half-mile from the runway, according to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor. Preliminary reports from witnesses suggest the tanker lost a piece of its engine or a wing before it caught fire and went down, Gregor says. The airplane was carrying two or three people, and there were no survivors from the crash, he says.

Sierra Front spokesman Mark Struble said the tanker was working on the Hope Valley fire earlier in the day and had been released.

The crash started a small brush fire that local crews extinguished. He said the debris field from the crash covered approximately 5 square miles northwest of the airport northeast of U.S. Highway 395.

Witnesses on the scene say the back engines were on fire as it crashed into power lines. Sierra Pacific says 1,740 customers in Cold Springs, Red Rock, and Silver Knolls lost power as a result. All customers should have power restored sometime Monday night.