Saint Patrick's Day is often a day of surprises, usually for fun reasons. For the residents of one South Bend, Indiana neighborhood, this year's surprise was not fun at all. It was pure horror.
Late Sunday afternoon, a small private aircraft fell from the sky and tore through three houses. It was near the approach to South Bend Regional Airport where planes often fly low and happened so fast that people on the ground had no time to react. Authorities said there were three people were taken to the hospital, though it's unclear if they were in the plane or in one of the homes hit. It's also unclear if there were any deaths. Some sources said that there were children in the home that was worst hit, and up to 200 people been evacuated from the area due to fears that leaked jet fuel might ignite.
It's a nasty-sounding crash. One of the locals told the Associated Press that "the jet clipped the top of one house, heavily damaged a second, and came to rest against a third." The plane, a Beechcraft Premier I twin-jet (like the one pictured above), had departed from Tulsa, Oklahoma and experience electrical problems.His wife relayed their reaction. "I was looking out my picture window. The plane's coming, and I go, 'Wait a minute,' and then, boom," she said. "This one was coming straight at my house. I went, 'Huh?' and then there was a big crash, and all the insulation went flying." Again, not something that one typically sees on a Sunday afternoon.
By the time the sun started to set, everyone remained on edge. The neighborhood is assumed to be coated with jet fuel, and the South Bend fire chief says, "This is now a rescue effort." We'll update this post with new information and images from the crash site as they become available.