Plane crashes into residential area: 3 dead


Latest: Three people were killed when a small airplane crashed into a residential area of the Japanese capital, Tokyo, on Sunday, public broadcaster NHK reported, setting fire to houses and cars.

"I heard a tremendous sound like a truck crashed into a house... When I looked outside from a window, fire was flaring up," an unidentified woman told NHK. "The fire was blazing up so hard," she said.

The Tokyo Fire Department said three people were "in cardiopulmonary arrest", a description usually used by officials in Japan until deaths are confirmed by a medical examiner.

Houses on fire

A light plane crashed into a residential area in Tokyo Sunday morning, setting fire to several houses and reportedly killing three people, according to officials and local media.

The five-seater plane crashed at around 11am (0200 GMT) shortly after it departed from Tokyo's Chofu airport, public broadcaster NHK reported.

"Four people were involved in the accident and three of them were rescued, but we don't know about further details, including their condition," a spokesman at the Tokyo Fire Department said, adding that it was also not clear how many people were aboard the plane.

NHK, quoting police, said two people on board and one female local resident were killed in the accident.

A firefighter rushes to the site where a light plane went down in a residential area and burst into flames, in Chofu, outskirt of Tokyo, July 26, 2015. A small airplane crashed into a residential area of the Japanese capital, Tokyo, on Sunday, setting fire to houses and cars and injuring at least two people, the Tokyo Fire Department said. (REUTERS)

At least three houses and two cars were on fire in the capital's residential district of Chofu near the airport, and the crash also damaged the roofs of other houses nearby, according to the spokesman and local media.

"I thought it was flying quite low," a local resident who witnessed the crash told NHK.

Television footage showed firefighters battling the inferno, as well as the remains of the plane's tail.

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