Small plane crashed in Gary, 2 killed - FOX 32 News Chicago

Small plane crashed in Gary, 2 killed

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Two people were killed when a single-engine plane crashed into a wooded area Wednesday about a mile short of Gary/Chicago International Airport, authorities said.

It wasn't immediately clear how many people were on board the SR22, which crashed just after 11 a.m. Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory initially said the plane was carrying only the pilot, but later said the number of people aboard was "in flux."

Gary Fire Department Capt. Don Parker told the Times of Munster it appeared that two people had been aboard the flight.

An out of breath Dwight Taylor and others arrived to the plane crash site before emergency personnel.

"There was fire everywhere," explained Taylor. "And, he walked to my right to see if we could find the guy or somebody who may need our assistance and he didn't find anyone so probably 3-4 minutes later the fire department got there and they went to the same area that he had went and there was a body right there."

"It was a graphic scene, I don't really want to say in detail what the bodies looked like but they were burned up bodies. They were thrown from the wreckage," said the firefighter on the scene.

Home video shows the aircraft engulfed in flames seconds after the single-engine plane plummeted to the ground. Gary Police say at least two men died in the crash - including the pilot who steered the plane just feet away from West Gary Lighthouse Charter School. City officials say there was no call for help.

"There in fact was not a distress signal received. The Gary Jet Center did in fact expect the aircraft to land, the expected time was 11:19," said Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.

The National Transportation and Safety Board says the flight originated in Saint Augustine Florida, stopping in Smyrna, Tennessee before it's scheduled arrival at Gary Chicago International Airport.

The aircraft is registered to Gandy Air LLC.

Darrell Williams is thankful to be alive after the plane crashed within walking distance from where he works.

"I was in the store with a bunch of customers and all the sudden I heard a big boom," Williams said. "It could have been me, it could have been somebody in this plaza. Whoever the pilot was he did a great job of missing the school and the kids and stuff."

Delores Hinton, who lives about a block away from the crash site, said she was outside working on her car when she heard an explosion and then saw the plane go down.

"It exploded in the air right up over my house. I said, `What was that?' The next thing I know, it was down," she said.

About two blocks away, Luther Jackson said he was in his home when he felt what he described as "thud that was strong enough where it kind of rattled the windows a little bit."

"Then when I went to the door and opened the door I saw a plume of smoke and then I heard sirens," he said.

The Lake County Coroner's Office said it was notified about 11:30 a.m.

"The Coroner's Office team of investigators has not been able to access the accident scene due to hazardous material being contained," the office said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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