A small plane crashed into a townhome Wednesday morning in a leafy Atlanta-area neighborhood near a major interstate, killing at least one person and tearing off the home’s brick exterior, authorities said.
The crash scattered wreckage and shook up nearby residents. A second person who was on the plane was unaccounted for, but no one was home at the time and there were no injuries on the ground, 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 10:30 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. Conditions were foggy in the area.
Jared Hauck said he was working from his home about 1,000 feet (300 meters) of the crash site because he had adopted a dog the day before.
“I heard a really loud crash and some rustling,” he said. “It didn’t sound like anything normal.”
Hauck said he found a piece of wreckage outside his front door.
The end of one runway at the airport is about 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) 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 multi-unit townhome and crews were having trouble accessing the wreckage. An Associated Press photographer observed authorities removing a body from the site after 1 p.m.
A large section of wall and part of the roof was knocked out of a building at the townhome complex. DeKalb County Fire Marshal Joe Cox declared six units unsafe because of structural damage and fuel vapor, according to county officials.
This story has been corrected to show witness David Youngpeter lived 1,000 feet away, instead of 100. An earlier version of this report had an incorrect spelling of DeKalb County Fire Capt. Dion Bentley’s name.