2 people dead after small plane crashes into building in Illinois, officials say

By Paradise Afshar, CNN

Two people have died after a small plane crashed into an apartment building in Illinois on Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

The pilot of the single-engine Mooney M20 reported engine trouble before the plane crashed near the 116 freeway in Hanna City, about 170 miles south of Chicago, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. There were two people on board the small plane when it crashed.

Witnesses reported hearing a “spitting” sound from the plane as it descended, according to a news release from Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood.

The pilot “heroically navigated between vehicles on the roadway” before hitting a building while landing on a road, the statement said.

A male occupant of the plane was initially conscious, but his condition “declined rapidly” once he was removed from the plane, the statement said. He was pronounced dead at the scene following efforts to resuscitate him.

One occupant was unconscious or not breathing when first assessed and was pronounced dead following efforts to resuscitate her, the statement said.

“It is not known at this time if they were detained on the plane,” the statement said.

Autopsies are scheduled for Monday. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident.

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