5 Tennessee Elders die in plane crash

by Nathan Natas 64 Replies latest jw friends

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    see: http://www.timesnews.net/article.php?id=9002813 (Kingsport, TN)

    Ministers from 5 East Tennessee Jehovah's Witness congregations aboard plane
    Published 09/02/2007 By Jeff Bobo

    Sunday afternoon state forestry officials were using a bulldozer to clear a path through the Cherokee National Forest on Holston Mountain to the site of a single engine aircraft carrying five ministers that crashed shortly after takeoff from Elizabethton Municipal Airport Saturday morning.

    According to the Carter County Sheriff’s Department the crash occurred between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

    A Beech Bonanza aircraft had reportedly taken off from Hamblen County Saturday morning prior to landing in Elizabethton to pick up a passenger, and was then destined for Virginia Highlands Airport near Abingdon, Va., but never arrived.

    A passing airplane spotted the smoldering wreckage around 7 p.m. Saturday.

    The debris was spotted about a mile and a half down the southern side from the top of the mountain in an very rugged and remote area of Holston Mountain in Carter County.

    A ground search was initiated Saturday night but was stalled by darkness.

    The Carter County Sheriff’s Department said Sunday afternoon that the plane has been found by ground searchers and an attempt was under way to create access and secure the scene until Federal Aviation Administration investigators could arrive.

    There was no official word Sunday afternoon on the number of passengers in the plane or their status.

    The Times-News, however, received information Sunday that there were five passengers in the plane and they were each ministers from a different Jehovah’s Witness congregation in East Tennessee.

    The Times-News will withhold their names pending confirmation of notice to their families.

    According to Church elder Robert Burpitt who contacted the Times-News Sunday, the plane passengers were members of a "Regional Building Committee" which makes decisions regarding Kingdom Hall building projects. They were on their way to Abingdon Saturday morning to meet with congregation members from Lebanon, Va. to discuss building a new church there.

    The ministers were from Chattanooga, Pigeon Forge, Morristown, Elizabethton and Unicoi County.

    Although there was no official word on their status, there was not much hope Saturday that anyone survived.

    Burpitt said the church will be making an official statement about the accident sometime Sunday afternoon.

  • Homerovah the Almighty
    Homerovah the Almighty

    Sad, but goes to show that Jehovah isn't protecting his chosen people after all

  • AlphaOmega

    Thanks for posting this... "Google Alert" hasn't picked up on this yet.

    I can't believe how direct the newspaper's language is !


  • Highlander

    I'm sure the j-dub rumour mill will churn out an urban legend about the day jehovah killed 5 apostate elders that were conspiring to bring down His organization.

  • purplesofa

    Sad news, There are just so many small plane crashes, more and more frequent.

    I feel for the families and all involved. My deepest sympathies


  • changeling

    Wow! Sad.


  • Gretchen956

    Well names may have been withheld so they could notify relatives, but any relative reading that article would probably know immediately by the specific details they provided. Sad.


  • Hortensia

    very sad, those small planes are dangerous. And scary. I'm sorry for them and their families.

  • KW13

    damn, 5 people who were friends probably too, a lot of upset families

  • BluesBrother

    Sad news...we can feel for the families.

    A tragedy is a tragedy, even if we dislike what the believed and practiced

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