Two injured in plane crash south of El Dorado

Two people sustained minor injuries when a small, privately-owned plane crashed Saturday afternoon near the Hibanks community, reportedly after experiencing engine trouble.

The crash was reported at approximately 2:45 p.m. in a wooded area about four and a half miles southeast of El Dorado, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Capt. Jeff Stinson of the Union County Sheriff's Office -- one of several agencies who, along with the El Dorado Fire Department, responded to the scene -- said the plane went down in an area that lies, roughly, between Hibanks and Shelby roads.

Stinson and El Dorado Fire Chief Chad Mosby said the two passengers who were aboard the small commuter plane were transported by ambulance to South Arkansas Regional Hospital for treatment.

Stinson said their injuries were not life-threatening.

"They just got them out of the woods a little while ago. The sheriff's office was trying to locate the plane and the people and once they located them, our (EMTs) transported them to the hospital," Mosby said late Saturday afternoon.

The names of the passengers have not been released. Stinson said they are not Union County residents.

Peter Knudson, public affairs officer for the NTSB, said the flight originated in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and the plane, a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, was enroute to El Dorado.

It was unclear if the plane was headed to South Arkansas Regional Airport at Goodwin Field or the Downtown Airport.

Knudson said the pilot contacted air traffic controllers and reported engine trouble just before the crash.

The NTSB is investigating the accident.

"We'll have a preliminary report out within 30 days and that will lay out the facts and circumstances of the accident," Knudson said.

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