Image source: WGN-TV via WISN-TV
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“A big part of the airplane was in their living room."
A small plane carrying only a pilot crashed into a home near a Chicago-area airport early Tuesday morning. While the pilot was initially said to be missing, he was later found dead at the scene.
According to officials the people inside the home were able to escape safely thanks to their neighbors.
According to WGN-TV, the plane crashed through the roof all the way into the basement of an elderly couple's home about a quarter of a mile from a Chicago Midway International Airport runway before 3 a.m. No fire or explosion occurred with the crash.
Firefighters did not immediately locate the pilot because they could not enter the home at first due to stability issues, the news station reported.
WGN added that the Federal Aviation Administration identified the plane as an Aero Commander 500 that departed from Midway on its way to Chicago Executive Airport, which is north of Chicago in Wheeling, Illinois. The pilot had reported engine problems to control and tried to return to Midway.
Watch WISN-TV's report about the crash:
“A big part of the airplane was in their living room,” neighbor Luz Cazares told the Chicago Tribune. “I jumped the fence and knocked on the back door of the kitchen; I thought they were dead."
Fire Chief Michael Fox said the couple was "very lucky" to be alive.
"They were in a bedroom next to the living room and the living room is gone," Fox said, according to the Tribune, noting they were only eight inches from the disaster.
According to the Sun-Times, Cazares rushed into the home after hearing the crash and found the couple in the hall outside their bedroom and she helped usher the woman outside. Police helped the man.
This story has been updated to include new information.
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