9 Dec 2014

3 dead in US small plane crash

11:46 am on 9 December 2014

A private jet has crashed into a house in a suburb of Washington DC, killing three people on board.

Firefighters inspect the scene after a small passenger plane crashed into a residential area, engulfing one home in flames and damaging two others in Gaithersburg, USA.

Firefighters inspect the scene after a small passenger plane crashed into a residential area, engulfing one home in flames and damaging two others in Gaithersburg, USA. Photo: AFP

The small plane came down in Gaithersburg, Maryland, setting the house and two other homes on fire, the BBC reported.

Fire crews later searched the homes and three people living in one were unaccounted for.

A Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman said the jet was trying to land at a nearby airfield.

Witnesses told local media the plane appeared to be struggling to maintain altitude before it crashed.

A nearby resident Fred Pedreira said he had just returned home from the grocery store and was parking his car when he saw the plane.

"I said, 'I think he's coming in too low,'" Mr Pedreira said.

"Then he was 90 degrees - sideways - and then he went belly-up into the house and it was a ball of fire. It was terrible."

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