Few details as investigators examine cause of Connecticut plane crash

October 12, 2016 1:04 PM EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - State and federal agency officials on Wednesday were investigating what caused a twin-engine plane to crash into a utility pole on Tuesday and burst into flames in downtown East Hartford, Connecticut, killing one man and badly injuring another.

The New York Times, citing unnamed federal officials, reported on Tuesday night that investigators were looking into whether the pilot deliberately crashed the plane.

East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc said it "might be premature to state" that the plane was intentionally downed but acknowledged "there are concerns" based on details provided to investigators by a flying instructor who was aboard the plane, as well as the crash site's proximity to the headquarters of aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney.

The instructor and a student were the only people aboard the plane when it crashed at about 3:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday during flight training originating at the Hartford-Brainard Airport, police said.

The student was killed and the instructor is being treated at the Bridgeport Hospital's burn center, Leclerc said. Authorities have not yet released the names of the two men on board the plane.

East Hartford Police Lieutenant Joshua Litwin said at a Wednesday news conference that the plane had two sets of controls but that he did not know which person was flying the plane at the time of the crash.

Asked about reports that the plane was flown into the ground on purpose, Litwin said officials had not ruled out anything, including terrorism. But he cautioned that the investigation was still "in its infancy."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are all involved in the investigation, along with local and state police, Litwin said.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney and Joseph Ax; editing by Diane Craft)



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