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Small plane crashes into Chicago home

November 18, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) — A small twin-engine cargo plane crashed into a Chicago home Tuesday, killing the pilot but sparing a couple who were sleeping right next to where the plane hit.

The Aero Commander 500-B slammed nose-down into the front of the home at about 2:40 a.m., punching through the ground floor into the basement and leaving about a third of the aircraft, including the tail, sticking straight out of the red-brick home.

Both told first responders they were fine and refused any medical attention.

After stabilizing the house, crews recovered the body from the wreckage. No one else was on board. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office did not immediately release the pilot’s name.

The pilot reported engine trouble shortly after taking off from Midway International Airport and asked to return to the airport. But the plane crashed about a quarter mile short of the runway, said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory.

Fire crews found aviation fuel leaking from the wreck but there was no fire or explosion, and the airframe was mostly intact, investigators said.

The NTSB expects to have a preliminary accident report within a week, followed by a final report in about a year.

The airport is closely bounded by densely populated neighborhoods. Those living near the crash site said the impact shook houses.

Luz Cazares, 62, who lives next door, ran to check on the neighbors she’s known for more than 20 years, fearing that the couple in their 80s did not survive.

She called out for them, jumped a fence and found them just inside the backdoor. The woman was asking, “What happened? What happened?” Cazares said.

She helped her to safety, while a police officer aided the woman’s husband.

Update hourly