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Plane carrying NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. bursts into flames after crash in Tennessee (VIDEO)

Plane carrying NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. bursts into flames after crash in Tennessee (VIDEO)
NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Jr, his wife, and daughter have been taken to a hospital after a jet they were in skidded off the runway, catching fire just after landing. Video shows a pillar of dark smoke billowing from the site.

Earnhardt Jr., a semi-retired NASCAR driver and TV analyst, his wife Amy, daughter Isla, and their family dog were on board a small Cessna Citation private jet when it crash-landed at Elizabethton Airport in Carter County, Tennessee at 3:40pm local time.

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) said that two pilots and three other people were aboard the plane. All five passengers and crew are reported to have been safely evacuated from the burning wreckage.

Footage of the scene shows the jet engulfed in flames and thick smoke billowing from its charred fuselage, as firetruck sirens blare in the background.

The driver’s sister, Kelley Earnhardt, tweeted that “everyone is safe and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation.”  

The FAA together with the National Transportation Safety Board have launched an investigation into the cause of the crash. It is so far unclear what might have triggered the mishap.

The family was reportedly heading to Bristol for the NASCAR racing weekend. The ill-fated plane was registered with JR Motosports, a professional stock racing team for which Earnhardt Jr. is competing.

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