Safety board says more people died in plane crashes in 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal safety officials say that 393 people died in U.S. civilian plane crashes last year, a 15% increase over the year before.

All but a dozen of the deaths occurred in general aviation, which usually involves small private planes.

However, the numbers include a woman killed after an engine blew apart on a Southwest flight and broke the window next to her. That was the first death due to accident on a U.S. commercial airline since 2009.

And 12 people died in accidents involving charters, air taxis, tours and medical flights.

The National Transportation Safety Board released the figures Thursday. It did not break down the accidents by cause.

According to board data, so far this year 348 people have died in U.S. crashes, a slightly higher pace than 2018.

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