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Witnesses Thought Crash Was Controlled Burn

December 9, 2011, 6:01 PM by Brady Mallory

Witnesses Thought Crash Was Controlled Burn
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Two men brought cell phone they had taken into KELOLAND News about an hour after the crash.

Jim Eich and Mike Scen were driving along 60th street just moments after the plane crashed.

"A lot of black smoke," Eich said.  

It was the image Eich and Mike Scen saw as they were driving home. The two men, who work at Vander Haag's Inc., had just left work.

"Got off and we were going to his house and seen a big puff of smoke and I thought it was the national guard out there burning. It wasn't. It was a plane," Scen said. 

"We got closer and closer and we saw it. You see the tail fin of the airplane," Jim Eich said.

Eich said they were about a block away from the billowing black smoke. Soon police and fire trucks would be on scene. Eich says it took them some time to get over the shock of the large flames, a site they had never seen before.

"It's unbelievable, couldn't believe it really. You only see that on TV. You could see the fire was really hot," Eich said.

Little by little, more drivers and passersby stopped to figure out what they were watching.

"Along the road and stuff, everybody was looking. It's terrible. Especially this time of year," Scen said.

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