Six skydivers and a pilot parachute to safety before small plane crashes in Missouri

BUTLER, Mo. (AP) — Six skydivers and a pilot on board a small plane parachuted to safety before it crashed near a county airport in western Missouri, leaving the plane “a total loss,” officials said.

Preliminary information indicates the plane that crashed early Saturday afternoon was flying a skydiving mission, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The wreckage was found in a field east of the runways at Butler Memorial Airport, the Bates County Sheriff's Office said on social media. The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was a single-engine Cessna.

Bates County Sheriff Chad Anderson said in an email that all passengers parachuted to safety before the pilot did the same.

All were treated and released at the scene, according to the social media post.

The crash happened near the airport about 62 miles (98 kilometers) south of Kansas City. Wreckage will be recovered and examined by the NTSB as part of its investigation.