STONE MOUNTAIN, Georgia (AP) — A single-engine plane crashed in flames near the top of Stone Mountain, killing at least one person and spewing debris near a Confederate memorial carved into the mountain’s other side, authorities said.
The plane slammed into the side of the giant rock outcropping and burst into flames around 8 p.m. Tuesday, as joggers, cyclists and other visitors were out enjoying the state park, authorities said.
Some witnesses said the aircraft appeared to be performing acrobatic maneuvers just before it crashed; others described a loud boom.
Debris covered a large area on the south side, opposite the memorial depicting Confederate generals and a sky lift that takes visitors to the summit, Capt. Eric Jackson of the DeKalb County Fire Department said.
Officials did not immediately know how many people were aboard the plane, where it departed from or its destination, Jackson said. One body was recovered, he said.
Jackson said recovery operations were suspended by midnight. The National Transportation Safety Board was investigating.
Stone Mountain is 16 miles east of downtown Atlanta.