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Investigation under way in plane crash that killed 2, sparked fire in southern Utah

Authorities continue to investigate Sunday the cause of small plane crash Saturday morning that killed two Arizona men in a remote corner of Washington County and sparked a brush fire.

The plane crashed about 4 a.m. in the northeast corner of Washington County, about one mile from the Kane County line and three miles from the Iron County border, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office. The National Transportation Safety Board was expected to head up the investigation.

Carrying only the pilot and one passenger, the Piper PA-28R-200, was en route from Bountiful.

The sheriff's office did not immediately release the names of those killed.

Colorado City Airport manager Ladell Bistline, however, identified the men to The Associated Press as brothers Benjamin and James Timpson of Centennial Park, Ariz.

Benjamin Timpson, 29, owned the plane and used it for weekly business trips to Salt Lake City. He said the Timpson's were expected about 8:40 p.m. Friday.

Benjamin Timpson called his wife about an hour earlier while crossing over Fillmore to tell her when to expect him, Bistline said.

"That was the last communication from the plane that I know of," said Bistline.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office dispatched deputies and search-and-rescue personnel to the site about 11 a.m., after being notified of the crash by the Utah Wing of the U.S. Civil Air Patrol.

The CAP received an alert early Saturday that a small aircraft was overdue on a flight from Bountiful to Colorado City, Ariz., and dispatched aircraft and crews from Ogden and Salt Lake City at first light, said Lt. Susan Chamberlain, public affairs officer.

The crash site was located about 10 a.m. by CAP crews, who stayed in communication over the crash site until local law enforcement ground searchers reached the site, Chamberlain said.

A small fire ignited by the crash made it difficult for rescue crews to reach the crash site, Hayden said. Color Country Fire quickly got the fire under control, and no structures were threatened, she said.

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