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2 Homes Ablaze After Plane Crash in Ore.

July 17, 2006

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) _ An airplane participating in an air show crashed into a densely populated neighborhood near the Hillsboro Airport Sunday afternoon, exploding and setting at least two homes on fire.

Connie King, a spokeswoman for the Hillsboro Fire Department, said three homes were hit and two caught fire. King didn’t know of any casualties.

TV footage showed the ruins of a destroyed home. The extent of damage to the two other homes was not clear.

Resident Dave Driscoll said he heard a whistling sound of the jet ``and it cut out, cut out, cut out, then there was a big boom.″

The plane crashed near the end of the two-day Hillsboro International Air Show.

Witness Kory Hauser told the (Salem) Statesman Journal that the plane, an older model jet, went down about 4:30 p.m. about a mile and a half from the airport.

``It was doing a loop and couldn’t pull out in time,″ Kory Hauser told the newspaper. ``It clipped about three houses and went down.″

The show was immediately canceled and Hauser said the streets in that section of Hillsboro, a suburb of Portland, were in gridlock.

Another witness, Josh Boer, told KGW-TV a house ``literally exploded″ when the plane hit and sent out a fire bomb that lit two other homes on fire.

Witness Mo Swasey told KATU-TV that the plane had a flameout at 1,000 feet to 1,200 feet.

``The pilot tried to bank left″ to attempt an emergency landing but that there was no power and the plane dropped quickly, he said.

Witnesses said they did not see the pilot eject from the aircraft before it crashed.

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