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Two Missing After Small Plane Crashes Into IL Home; 75 Firefighters Respond

Two Missing After Small Plane Crashes Into IL Home; 75 Firefighters Respond

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Belleville News Democrat via YellowBrix

February 22, 2010

BELLEVILLE, IL – Two people aboard a small private plane are unaccounted for after the plane crashed into an airplane hangar and home in the Villa Hills area about 6:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Signal Hill Fire Chief Greg Render.

Render wouldn’t confirm the two aboard had been killed, but he said no one was recovered from the plane and that the crash did not appear survivable. No one was hurt on the ground.

The residents of the house at 3 Aero Estates Drive, John and Mary Elliott, were out to dinner, and no one was in the house.

The plane, with the two occupants reported missing after the crash, was bound for St. Louis Downtown-Parks Airport in Cahokia, Render said. The Federal Aviation Administration said it was traveling from Vero Beach, Fla.

A spokesman for Lambert-St. Louis International Airport late Sunday night did not have any information about the crash, including whether the small plane was based at the airport.

The aircraft was still lodged in the hangar several hours after the accident, with firefighters trying to extinguish the fire. The blaze began after the crash and fully engulfed the hangar.

The house occupies about a third of the structure. The hangar contained two other general aviation aircraft and a classic automobile, which were destroyed in the crash.

A neighbor who is a pilot reported he heard a light plane engine at a high pitch before the crash occurred, and neighbors reported seeing a fireball when the plane hit the structure.

The house is set back from Clover Leaf School Road in the Aero Estates subdivision. The area was blocked off to traffic after the accident and was still closed as of 9:30 p.m.

Render said a grass airplane runway runs behind the house, north and south, with hangers and homes alongside it.

Render would not say where the flight originated, but neighbors said they didn’t believe the plane had any association with the subdivision.

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