Fans of former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and DJ AM, a celebrity disc jockey, anxiously waited Sunday for word on the critical burns the two suffered in an incredible escape from the flaming wreckage of a private jet. The Learjet crashed late Friday night shortly after taking off from an airport in Columbia, where they had just performed a concert for thousands of college students. The plane’s two-person crew and a pair of the musicians’ staff members â also their close friends â were killed. Officials said as the plane was departing air traffic controllers reported seeing sparks. The plane hurtled off the end of a runway and came to rest a quarter-mile away on an embankment across a five-lane highway, engulfed in flames. Barker and DJ AM, whose real name is Adam Goldstein, were in critical but stable condition at a burn center in Augusta, Ga., hospital spokeswoman Beth Frits said. One witness said he was driving when a fireball streaked across the highway about 600 feet ahead of him. William Owens said he approached to see the two survivors frantically trying to remove their burning clothes. “I noticed two guys who were on fire and it looked like a dance: They didn’t know what to do,” said Owens, a 60-year-old delivery van driver. Goldstein had stripped off his own shirt and was helping Barker strip naked, said Owens, who was able to identify the men Saturday night because of news reports that showed Barker’s extensive tattoos. Owens said Goldstein told him four other people were on board the jet, but the flames were too intense to get close. “‘Oh my God’ was all they were saying,” Owens said of Barker and Goldstein. ” They stood there and it’s like â didn’t know what to do. None of us did.” Two other passengers â Chris Baker, 29, of Studio City, Calif., and Charles Still, 25, of Los Angeles â died, as did pilot Sarah Lemmon, 31, of Anaheim Hills, Calif., and co-pilot James Bland, 52, of Carlsbad, Calif., according to the county coroner. Baker was an assistant to Barker and Still was a security guard for the musician. A publicist described the men as close friends of their employers. The plane was headed for Van Nuys, Calif. It is owned by Global Exec Aviation, a California-based charter company, and was certified to operate last year, said National Transportation Safety Board member Debbie Hersman. The company said it was working with investigators to determine the cause of the crash. A longtime friend of the co-pilot said Bland flew anti-smuggling missions 20 years for the U.S. Customs Service and flew missions for the Santa Ana Police Department in California and U.S. Border Patrol.
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