East Haven plane crash: Small plane damages two homes
EAST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A small plane crashed in a working-class neighborhood near an airport Friday and engulfed two houses in flames, killing at least two people and leaving a third feared dead.
The multi-engine, propeller-driven plane struck two small homes a few blocks from Tweed New Haven Airport.
Soon after the crash, officials said at least three people were missing: the pilot and two children in one of the houses, ages 1 and 13. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy later said the plane also may have been carrying two passengers but that officials were still trying to verify whether that was true.
"We haven't recovered anybody at this point and we presume there is going to be a very bad outcome," East Haven Fire Chief Douglas Jackson said early Friday afternoon.
Less than two hours later, Malloy said rescuers had spotted two bodies but had not yet been recovered them. The plane's fuselage had entered one of the houses and the recovery effort was focusing on the home's basement, the governor said.
The plane, a Rockwell International Turbo Commander 690B, flew out of Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and crashed at 11:25 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Tweed's airport manager, Lori Hoffman-Soares, said the pilot had been in communication with air traffic control and did not issue any distress calls.
"All we know is that it missed the approach and continued on. There were no distress calls as far as we know," she said.
A neighbor, David Esposito, said he heard a loud noise and then a thump. "No engine noise, nothing," he said.
"A woman was screaming her kids were in there," he said.
Esposito said he ran into the upstairs of the house, where the woman believed her children were, but they could not find them. They returned downstairs to search, but he dragged the woman out when the flames became too strong.
East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo offered sympathy to the family.
"It's total devastation in the back of the home," he said.