Drummer fights for life after plane crash

Former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and celebrity DJ AM were critically injured in a plane crash in the US that killed four people, authorities said today.

Former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and celebrity DJ AM were critically injured in a plane crash in the US that killed four people, authorities said today.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the Learjet plane carrying six people was taking off in South Carolina last night when air traffic controllers reported seeing sparks.

The plane headed for Van Nuys, California, went off a runway, through a fence and crashed on a nearby road, officials said.

Barker and DJ AM, whose real name is Adam Goldstein, were in critical condition at a burn centre in Augusta, Georgia, about 75 miles south-west of Columbia, hospital spokeswoman Beth Frits said.

Two other passengers and two crew members died, said the National Transportation Safety Board. Their identities were not immediately available.

At the crash site today, the air was still heavy with the odour of jet fuel. A trail of black soot led off a runway, across a five-lane road next to the airport and up an embankment. The nose of the aircraft was gone and the roof was missing from two-thirds of the charred plane.

Barker and Goldstein had performed together under the name TRVSDJ-AM at a free concert in Columbia last night.

"It's absolutely terrible and tragic," Columbia Mayor Bob Coble said.

The show, which included performances by former Jane's Addiction singer Perry Farrell and singer Gavin DeGraw, drew 10,000 people into the streets of Five Points, the neighbourhood near the University of South Carolina, Mr Coble said.

Neither Ferrell nor DeGraw were in the plane, their representatives said today.

One concertgoer said TRVSDJ-AM's performance was unique and different.

"It was literally one of the best shows I've ever seen" said Brett Flashnick, a freelance photographer who works for The Associated Press and attended the concert for a local newspaper.

Barker, 32, was one of the more colourful members of the multiplatinum-selling punk rock band Blink-182, whose biggest album was 1999's CD 'Enema of the State', which sold more than five million copies in the United States alone.

After Blink-182 disbanded in 2005, Barker went on to form the rock band (+44) - pronounced "plus forty-four".

He also starred in the MTV reality series 'Meet the Barkers' with former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, to whom he was married at the time.

The show documented the former couple's lavish wedding and life. Their later split, reconciliation and subsequent break-up made them tabloid favourites.

Goldstein is a popular DJ who at one time was engaged to Nicole Richie.

Barker and Goldstein performed as part of the house band at the MTV Video Music Awards earlier this month.

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