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Five family members killed in Alaska plane crash

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Five members of a single family were killed on Friday when their light plane crashed onto railroad tracks near a small Alaska airport, authorities said.

The plane crashed under unknown circumstances at about 10:15 a.m., about half a mile from the airport in Birchwood, a suburb of Anchorage, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said in a written statement.

The single-engine Cessna 180 went down shortly after takeoff from the Birchwood airport, and landed on the Alaska Railroad tracks that run past the small airport, police said.

The plane was immediately engulfed in flames upon impact.

The rail track in the area was closed for about two hours, said Wendy Lindskoog, an Alaska Railroad vice president.

The crash victims were all from one family living in the Anchorage suburb of Eagle River, an Anchorage Police Department spokesman said.

They had been on their way to Seldovia, a small town on the Kenai Peninsula, for a Memorial Day weekend trip, the Anchorage Police Department said.

Killed in the plane crash were pilot Lonn Greiner of Eagle River, Alaska; his 69-year-old mother, Carolyn Greiner; and his three children, Glory Greiner, 13, Nathan Greiner, 11, and Grace Greiner, 10.

There were no reports of injuries on the ground.

An NTSB spokesman said the agency was investigating.

(Reporting by Yereth Rosen; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Jerry Norton)

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