Brainerd, MN Plane Slides Off Runway, Jan 1983


Brainerd, Minn. (UPI) - A Republic Airlines plane landing in a snowstorm careened off the runway into a snowbank, sending a propeller ripping through the passenger cabin and killing a woman whose legs were severed. Three others were injured.
Officials said the elderly woman, who was not immediately identified died instantly when the propeller sliced off her legs. A 6-year-old girl sitting beside the woman had her foot severed and was hospitalized today in fair condition.

The Fatality Was:
MARGARET KLOSTER, 68, of Fosston, lost both her legs.
The Seriously Injured Was:
HOLLY HARTUNG, 6, of Bertha, lost her right foot and suffered a broken left leg.

Two other passengers among the 30 on board were injured. One was hospitalized in fair condition the other was treated and released. None of the three crew members were injured.
Federal Aviation Administration officials from Minneapolis and Chicago were to begin an investigation into the crash today. It was the first crash in Republic's three-year history.
The Convair 580 turbo-prop plane, en route to Brainerd, Bemidji and Thief River Falls from Minneapolis
had been delayed for 45 minutes in the Twin Cities due to reports of bad weather in the area.
About 3 inches of new snow had fallen by the time the plane landed at the tiny airport. Brainerd is a resort town of 11,000 people located about 125 miles north of Minneapolis.
One passenger said the plane was running fine until it touched down.
"Then it kind of bounced a little and slid into the snowbank, which was maybe 3 1/2-feet high and hard," said Mel Fredericks of Brainerd, who had been vacationing in San Francisco and transferred to the flight in Minneapolis.
A flash of fire burst from the engine that hit the snowbank, he said.
"Then the propeller came through the side of the plane. There was a woman and a child that we know were hit and the rest of us helped everybody else out the back end of the plane."
"We didn't go out the side entrance," he said, "because one of the propellers was still going."
A passenger said the dead woman was from Brainerd.

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