Injuries Reported – One Person Unaccounted For
Update, 8:30 pm: Fatalities reported. More information and details added. Scroll down.
A PRIVATE JET PLANE CRASHED into a South Bend suburb neighborhoon Sunday afternoon just after 4 pm damaging at least three houses.
South Bend Tribune
Local station WNDU-TV reported early:
We have just learned a private plane, believed to be a learjet of some sort, has crashed into at least three homes just southeast of the South Bend Regional Airport.
The pilot radioed for help after experiencing technical problems. A landing attempt was made but failed. The plane was inbound to South Bend Regional Airport and had departed from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Maggie Scroope tells NewsCenter 16, the level two trauma center is treating three victims. Hospital staff has issued a "Code Yellow," which essentially puts staff on warning, but does not require that extra medical workers be called in.
Early witness statements say that the plane clipped the roof of one house, and then struck two others causing significant damage. Neighbors say that one resident has not been seen since the crash.
There was no fire involved, but
the damage apparently broke a gas line the fuel tank ruptured and the entire area has been evacuated as a precaution because of the jet fuel.
Update, 8:30 pm:
It has been reported now that the plane carried four passengers and two of them died in the crash. Three people have been transported to the hospital, but no report on how many of them were passengers. The South Bend Tribune reports:
At least three people have been taken to Memorial Hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening, according to a hospital spokesperson. Two are in fair condition and one is serious. The person in serious condition is undergoing surgery.
The jet was a Beechcraft Premier 1 with tail number N26DK – out of the Richard Lloyd Jones Jr. Airport in Tulsa, OK.
This happened around 4:30 p.m. According to South Bend fire, the plane was 8 miles west of the airport headed to runway 9. It touched down one time then started to climb again and then it crashed. On approach the pilot reported a problem with electrical power, according to the FAA.
Neighborhood resident Stan Klaybor says the aircraft clipped the top of one house, heavily damaged a second, and came to rest against a third. He says one resident hasn't been seen.
During a news conference, the South Bend fire chief of training said "This is now a rescue effort," but the search is dangerous because of structural damage to the house the plane is lodged inside and the jet fuel. Crews have to stabilize the home before they can proceed with rescue efforts.
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