Aspen plane crash: Wreckage cleared, airport expected to open today
January 7, 2014
Flights resumed at the Aspen-Piktin County Airport Tuesday morning, after authorities cleared from its runway the wreckage of a private jet that crashed there Sunday, killing one of the aircraft’s pilots.
“The wreckage has been removed from the runway, … and things are expected to quickly return to normal,” wrote Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass, a central reservations firm, in an email sent out at 1:11 Tuesday morning to local business officials.
The wreckage was cleared as of 10 p.m. Monday, according to a news release issued by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
“There was no significant damage to the runway surface,” the release said. “Jet fuel containment efforts were conducted by a hazmat crew, with assistance from fire personnel, before investigators were able to board the wreckage. Hazmat crews will continue cleanup efforts to mitigate environmental impacts.”
National Transportation Safety Board officials boarded the plane and recovered the cockpit voice recorder, the release stated. It will take 12 to 18 months to determine the cause of the crash.
After the plane crashed, at approximately 12:23 p.m. Sunday, copilot Emilio Carranza Brabata, 54, of Mexico, was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. The other two men — identified as Miguel Angel Henriquez and Moises Carranza Brabata, also of Mexico — were injured. They initially were taken to Aspen Valley Hospital before being transferred to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.