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Fatal plane crash destroys house, shakes up Illinois neighborhood

A house burns after being struck by a small plane Sunday in Belleville, Illinois.
A house burns after being struck by a small plane Sunday in Belleville, Illinois.
  • Two aboard single-engine plane died; no one on the ground was hurt, FAA says
  • FAA: Wreckage site is near airstrip, but pilot was headed to airport about 6 miles away
  • Neighborhood residents can park private planes in hangars adjacent to their homes
  • Residents of house not at home at time of crash; 3 dogs rescued

(CNN) -- Residents of a Belleville, Illinois, neighborhood were still shaken Monday after a small plane crashed the day before, killing two aboard and destroying a house.

"I think everybody is still in shock," said Deah Bischoff, who lives near the site of the crash. "I think we're all just walking around and looking and trying to absorb what happened."

The single-engine plane crashed about 6:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. No one on the ground was hurt, the FAA said.

The National Transportation Safety Board had no comment on its investigation into the crash before a news conference Monday afternoon.

The wreckage site is adjacent to an airstrip, but the pilot was heading for St. Louis Downtown Airport, about six miles away, according to the FAA.

Residents near the airstrip are accustomed to planes in the neighborhood. Many can park their private planes in hangars adjacent to their homes. They're like garages for cars, except they're hangars for planes, said Bischoff, who, along with her husband, owns a few antique aircraft.

But the familiar sound of a plane overhead this time was menacing.

Bischoff said she was eating dinner with her husband and children when she heard a loud screeching.

"It shook our house, and the next thing you knew, there was a large boom," she said.

The plane also hit the house's hangar, which sheltered two planes, Bischoff said. Explosions erupted, and they watched as flames shot into the air.

Bischoff's husband, Roy, ran out with other neighbors to check on the couple living in the crushed house, she said. The couple was out to dinner, she said.

Neighbors saved the three Labrador retrievers inside, Roy Bischoff said. But he wished he could have saved the two people aboard the plane, he said.

"There was almost nothing, there was no recognizable part of an airplane around," he said.

The crash could have been even worse, Deah Bischoff said. Of the houses close by, the neighbor's home was the only one with no people inside at the time of the crash, she said.

CNN's Khadijah Rentas contributed to this report.