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Small plane crashes in Hawaii, killing three; three others hurt

(Reuters) - Three people were killed and three others injured when a small plane carrying local government employees crashed in Hawaii about a mile from Lanai Airport, officials said on Thursday.

The plane, chartered by Maui County, crashed late on Wednesday, killing the pilot of the plane and two employees from the county's department of planning, Maui County said in a statement on its website.

Two of the injured were in critical condition at a local hospital, while the third victim was in serious condition, it said.

"Maui County is in mourning after we lost two of our own last night in a plane crash," Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said in a statement.

Local media reports said the plane crashed after trying to take off and burst into flames in a field near the airport in Lanai, Hawaii's sixth-largest island located to the west of Maui.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bernadette Baum)