By RYAN GORMAN
Four people are confirmed dead after a twin-engine plane crashed just before 10:00 a.m. Thursday morning at the Wichita airport, authorities said.
An additional five people are unaccounted for and four are critically injured after the Beechcraft King Air B200 struck the FlightSafety International building after experiencing engine troubles, officials said during a morning press briefing.
The four people found dead were inside the building after the plane crashed through the roof, according to fire officials. The roof has since collapsed and the building declared unstable.
Further deaths are expected as search crews pore over the charred remains of the FlightSafety building, authorities lamented.
The 10-seat dual turboprop plane encountered the engine problems shortly after takeoff and was trying to return to the airport when it crashed, the FAA said in a statement.
It was bound for Mena, Arkansas, according to FlightAware records cited by the Wichita Eagle.
The plane's owner has not been publicly identified. The aircraft can hold as many as 13 people, including crew, but officials believe only one person was aboard.
More than 100 people work inside the building, which houses a flight school and flight simulators. It is owned by FlightSafety International, a flight training company owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway.
Most people have been accounted for, according to officials, but it is not known how many visitors were inside at the time of the crash.
Officials also expressed concern over the possibility of hydraulic fuel used in the simulators catching fire.
Additional injuries are possible, and many ambulances were seen leaving the scene.
Images from the scene show smoke and flames shooting out of the flight safety building at Mid-Continent Airport. The raging fire burned for about 30 minutes until being put out by firefighters.
"Firefighters engaged in a horrific firefight for several minutes," said Wichita Fire Chief Ron Blackwell. "We now have the fire under control."
Upwards of 50 firefighters responded from the city and battled the blaze alongside airport fire fighters, he added.
There is no indication the fire has spread to any of the airport's other buildings. Air traffic has been unaffected by the accident.
"The first thing that went through my mind when I heard the crash and saw the smoke was that I was concerned for the lives of everybody," witness Jon Weaver, who works across the street from the crash, told KSN.