A small plane crashed into a townhome Wednesday morning in a leafy Atlanta-area neighborhood near a major interstate, killing two people and tearing off the home's brick exterior, authorities said. The crash scattered wreckage and shook up nearby residents. Both the pilot and a passenger died, but there were no injuries on the ground because no one was home at the time, DeKalb County Fire Capt. Dion Bentley told reporters. "I'm feeling very lucky," said David Youngpeter, who lives near the townhome. "It was too close for comfort." The Piper PA-28 plane crashed shortly after taking off from DeKalb-Peachtree Airport outside Atlanta about 10:30am, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. Conditions were foggy in the area, the AP reports.
The end of one of the airport's runways is about 1.2 miles from where the crash occurred, and Youngpeter said he regularly hears planes overhead. West Hutchinson, another resident, said he heard the plane struggling to gain altitude before it crashed. "All of a sudden, I heard a really loud crack," Hutchinson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It was obvious that the plane had crashed because it was really loud and all of sudden went immediately silent." Bentley said the plane crashed into a six-unit townhome and crews had trouble accessing the wreckage and reaching one of the plane's occupants. DeKalb County Medical Examiner Pat Bailey says officials are not yet ready to identify the victims. (The crash comes a day after a plane crashed into a New Jersey home. The latest on that incident here.)