Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017

The Latest: Victim co-founded Texas energy consulting firm

By The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on a plane crash in Australia that killed the Australian pilot and four American tourists (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

An energy consulting firm in Austin, Texas, says its former CEO and co-founder was one of the men killed when a small plane crashed into a shopping mall in Australia.

Glenn Garland was one of the founders in 2003 of CLEAResult and served as chief executive before retiring in 2015.

Garland was among four passengers killed along with the pilot Tuesday morning when the twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air went down shortly after takeoff in suburban Melbourne.

In a statement Tuesday, CLEAResult co-founder Jim Stimmel describes Garland as a "visionary" when it came to finding efficiencies in producing and providing energy.


9:45 a.m.

A Texas law firm has confirmed that one of five men killed in a plane crash in Australia was a founding partner who litigated some of the most prominent bankruptcy cases in the U.S.

Munsch Hardt said in a statement that Russell Munsch had retired but was "one of the best of all time."

Munsch died Tuesday when a light plane in which he was a passenger crashed into a shopping mall shortly after takeoff in the city of Melbourne.

The firm said Tuesday that Munsch was involved in the 2001 bankruptcy proceedings for Houston-based Enron Corp., one of the largest energy companies in the world before its collapse.

He also counseled Nelson Bunker Hunt, the oil tycoon whose financial dealings led to what's considered the largest personal bankruptcy proceeding in history.


A light plane carrying five people crashed into a shopping mall on Tuesday in the city of Melbourne, officials said.

There were no immediate reports of causalities, but the twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air crashed about 45 minutes before the Direct Factory Outlet mall in suburban Essendon was to open, Police Minister Lisa Neville said.

The plane had taken off from Melbourne's second-biggest airport at Essendon on a chartered flight to King Island, 255 kilometers (160 miles) to the south, Neville said.

The mall adjoins the airport.

Police Superintendent Mick Fruen said a pilot reported a "catastrophic engine failure" moments before the plane crashed into a storage area at the rear of the mall.

Police and paramedics rushed to the crash site, where firefighters doused the flames.

2017-02-21 18:41:44 GMT

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