HOPE MILLS, N.C. (AP) — A single-engine plane crashed into a North Carolina home, killing the pilot and someone inside the house, authorities said. Another person in the house was seriously hurt.
The civilian plane went down shortly before midnight Thursday in Hope Mills, according to the State Highway Patrol. The pilot and one occupant of the house died on the scene, while the injured person was taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. Their identities weren’t immediately released.
Aerial images from news helicopters show a home surrounded by yellow police tape with nearly half its roof smashed in and debris scattered around the residential lot. The home is in the vicinity of U.S. Highway 301, less than 5 miles (8 kilometers) southwest of the Fayetteville Regional Airport. Nearby are several businesses along with homes on other residential streets.
The cause of the crash is under investigation. Authorities said federal investigators were joining troopers and deputies at the crash scene.
The Federal Aviation Administration said on its website that the Beech 55 aircraft with one person aboard was destroyed in the crash near Fayetteville. FAA records said the plane was built in 1979 and was registered to a Fayetteville company called Industrial Power. A man who answered the phone Friday at the company, which sells wholesale parts and supplies, said no one there was answering questions about the crash.
Neighbors say they heard the plane’s engine making sputtering noises. Jennifer Kelton told WTVD-TV that her family was having dinner when they heard the plane pass, followed by an explosion.
“I never heard anything that loud,” she told the station. “It really did buzz over the roof.”
Grady Sibbett told The Fayetteville Observer he heard sounds similar to a car backfiring as he and a friend were sitting outside Thursday night. The 47-year-old lives nearby and said the area is in the flight path for the airport.
“I tell you what it sounded like, sounded like a Volkswagen backfiring. Pop, pop, pop, pop,? Sibbett told the newspaper, adding: “I said that plane’s got issues. I’m a mechanic and it sounded like he ran out of gas. And he plowed into that house.”