The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Crop duster crashes near Oasis State Park

 

Alisa Boswell

Smoke billows into the air as emergency vehicles can be seen in the distance responding to a fire caused by a crop duster aircraft Thursday afternoon. No one was injured in the crash.

PORTALES — Everything was "all good" Thursday after a crop duster walked away from a crash one mile northeast of Oasis State Park, said Portales Emergency Management Director Keith Wattenbarger.

Roosevelt County Sheriff Malin Parker said the name of the pilot and the cause of the crash would not be released until the Federal Aviation Administration determined whether or not there would be an investigation into the incident.

Portales firefighters and sheriff's deputies responded to the crash between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. A fire caused by the crash appeared to be under control fairly quickly, said Wattenbarger.

"The big thing right now is the wind has picked up a little bit since then and if the wind pushes back to the northwest, there's probably more fire fuel ... but as far as the fire (right now), it's good," he said late Thursday afternoon.

Wattenbarger said firefighters would likely stay on scene to ensure there were no hot spots.

A hazardous materials team from Clovis was standing by just as a precaution since the aircraft had been carrying pesticide chemicals, Wattenbarger said, but the pilot had already dropped most of the chemicals.

Wattenbarger said he believed what chemicals were left in the plane would have burned quickly, so health repercussions were not a concern.

 

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