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Plane crashes in Putnam County; injuries reported

Reported by: Lynnsey Gardner

Reported by: Sam King
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Updated: 12/03/2013 8:48 pm

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- Four people walked away from a plane that crashed right after takeoff at a private airfield in Putnam County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The crash was reported at 9:30 a.m. Those on board the plane called 911.

"They would have had a mayday call but there was no time for that because it was all on the takeoff," Trooper Richard Conover, with the FHP.

The passengers were transported to Putnam Community Hospital where they were treated and released. Those on board included a pregnant woman, who was not seriously injured. 

Those on board the plane include the pilot, Fritz Abbing, along with Ralph Abbing, Irene Geerings and Corry Simmons, according to the FHP.

"The two female passengers were up and walking around," Conover said.  "And then the two male passengers are the ones that sustained the most injuries because they were in contacts with the trees."

The plane crashed at the Jim Finley airstrip along County Road 308, near US 17. That's just outside of Crescent City.

Reports on the scene the plane leaked fuel, which will have to be cleaned before the airfield is allowed to reopen. It is one of 12 such private use airfields in the county. Local pilots report they are typically safe.

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