A private jet apparently experiencing mechanical trouble crashed in Indiana on Sunday, hitting three homes and killing two people aboard the plane, authorities and witnesses said.

The Beechcraft Premier I twin-jet had left Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Riverside Airport and crashed near South Bend Regional Airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig said. Two of the four people aboard the plane were killed.

It was not clear if anyone on the ground was killed, and Herwig did not have any additional information.

South Bend Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Maggie Scroope said three people injured when the plane crashed were being treated there. Scroope did not know if they were on the plane or the ground.

In South Bend, Assistant Fire Chief John Corthier said the presence of jet fuel from the aircraft made the situation “very dangerous.” The plane was lodged inside a house.

“It’s still a rescue operation,” Corthier said about three hours after the crash. Referring to one of the damaged houses, he said, “Because of the collapse it’s a very dangerous situation. We have to shore up the house before we can enter.”

Part of the neighbourhood south-west of the airport was evacuated and buses transported up to 200 people to a nearby shelter.

Mike Daigle, executive director of the St Joseph County Airport Authority, said the jet attempted a landing, went back up and manoeuvered south to try another landing, but eight minutes later the airport learned the plane was no longer airborne.

Stan Klaybor, who lives across the street from the crash scene, said the jet clipped the top of one house, heavily damaged a second, and finally came to rest against a third. Neighbours did not know if a woman living in the most heavily damaged house was home at the time, and a young boy in the third house did not appear to be seriously injured, Klaybor said.

Two dead in plane crash in South Bend, Indiana – The Guardian
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