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The Ground Shook. Then, a Noise and a 'Yellow Ball of Fire'

2 dead after small plane crashes outside homes in Sioux Falls, SD
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 26, 2018 1:00 PM CST
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/carlballou)

(Newser) – Both people who were on board a small plane that crashed and caught fire in a residential neighborhood of South Dakota's largest city died, authorities said Wednesday. The plane crashed at around 5pm Tuesday in the backyards of four homes in Sioux Falls, causing significant damage to two of the homes but not injuring anyone on the ground, authorities said. Police Capt. Loren McManus said at a news briefing that the two people who were on the plane were killed, but he didn't release their names. He added that the debris field stretches for blocks and asked that anyone who comes across mechanical wreckage or "biological debris" to call 911 so officers can take care of it, per the AP. "Please try not to touch it if you can," McManus said.

Jim Lang, who lives nearby, says he felt the ground shake and heard what sounded like a vehicle accelerating rapidly. He looked out his window and saw "a yellow ball of fire." Fire Rescue Division Chief Steve Fessler said residents of two of the four houses that were evacuated following the crash haven't returned to their homes. Fessler said the plane came down in the backyards of the four houses, with two of them sustaining significant damage. Firefighters were able to "knock down" the fire that resulted from the crash within 10 minutes, he said. Police have secured the crash scene and are awaiting further direction from the National Transportation Safety Board, the lead investigative agency.

(Read more South Dakota stories.)

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