A Comair flight carrying 50 people crashed 1.6km from Lexington's airport yesterday morning shortly after takeoff, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said. At least one person survived.
Comair Flight 5191, a CRJ-100 regional jet with 47 passengers and three crew members, crashed at 6:07am after taking off for Atlanta, said Kathleen Bergen, an FAA spokeswoman.
There was no immediate word on what caused the crash.
The plane was largely intact afterward, but there was a fire following the impact, police said at a news conference.
The University of Kentucky hospital is treating one survivor, who is in critical condition, spokesman Jay Blanton said.
No other survivors have been brought to the hospital, he said.
Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn said the passengers and crew appeared to still be on the plane and the deaths were caused either by the impact or the "hot fire" on board.
"We are going to say a mass prayer before we begin the work of removing the bodies," Ginn said.
Investigators from the FAA and the US National Transportation Safety Board were en route to the scene, officials said.
Comair is a subsidiary of Delta Airlines.
The crash marks the end of what has been called the "safest period in aviation history." There has not been a major US crash since Nov. 12, 2001, when 265 people were killed in the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Queens, New York.