Atmore, AL Plane Crash Kills Eight, June 1983


Atmore, Ala. (AP) -- A twin-engine Cessna 421 aircraft that apparently lost power crashed and exploded among homes near an airport, killing all eight people aboard, officials said Wednesday.
Atmore Police Chief Bill Smith said eight bodies were removed early Wednesday from the charred wreckage of the plane, which crashed about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday a mile and a half northwest of the city's downtown.
The bodies were badly burned but were believed to be those of five women and three men, authorities said.
The plane "clipped a couple of trees" before exploding, Smith said. The fire was confined to the aircraft.
Names of the dead were not immediately available.
Jack Barker, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Atlanta, said the plane left the Pensacola, Fla., airport about 11 p.m. CDT en route to St. Louis.
The pilot reported to the Air Route Traffic Control Center in Jacksonville, Fla., that the aircraft had lost power in an engine and could not maintain altitude, Barker said. The air traffic controller directed the plane to the nearest airport at Atmore, he said.
The plane crashed about a quarter-mile from the Atmore Airport, Barker said. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating, he said.
The plane came down in a "moderately populated area," a few hundred feet from a mobile home, Smith said.
Although there were about 100 houses near the crash site, no one on the ground was reported injured, the police chief said.

Waterloo Courier Iowa 1983-06-22

Partial List of Casualties
E. MASON ODOM, 36, pilot.
CAROLYN SIMS, assistant, ODOM'S fiance.