Small plane crashes in Victoria, injuring 3


The AC68 aircraft took off from the Victoria Regional Airport around 10am Saturday. Officials tell us the aircraft experienced engine failure shortly after take off, and it crashed in a nearby field.

Roland Herwig, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Oklahoma City, says two of the individuals on board were seriously hurt and the third suffered minor injuries.

Witnesses heard a loud bang as the plane crashed. Some of them rushed to help.

"I definitely got dirty. I ended up having, you know, blood stains on my hands from helping out," witness Jose Acosta said. "There was definitely blood on the plane. So, you know, it didn't look pretty but, hey, I did whatever I could."

The Texas Department of Public Safety identified the victims as 58-year-old pilot Burl Wilkerson of Houston, 30-year-old Sajib Rupollia and 51-year-old Daniel Nghien.

Nghien was reportedly treated for minor injuries and released, DPS officials said, while Wilkerson and Rupollia were airlifted to area hospitals.

Saturday night, Wilkerson was recovering at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. He was listed in good condition and expected to recover. There was no word on Nghien's condition.

The FAA is investigating the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board has been notified.

Victoria is located about 125 miles southwest of Houston.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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