Two Minnesotans have died as a result of a plane crashing into their home. The plane crash, which happened this Friday night (June 20), occurred near 18th Street and 9th Avenue North of Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. Investigation of the plane-crash site revealed that the plane in question was a single-engine private aircraft.
The owner of the home, Jeffrey Hille, was driving with his friend Paul Schlangen at the time of the plane crash when he got a call from his neighbor telling him that a plane had hit his house. Although Hille did not witness the plane crash, his brother-in-law, Kole Heckendorf, was there to experience the whole thing.
Hille told the Minneapolis Star Tribune of his brother’s experience, “There was just flames, with smoke… he jumped out the second-story window.”
According to the Sauk Center Police Department, the people in the plane were touring and sightseeing Minnesota before the crash. Witnesses of the plane crash say that prior to the accident they saw a larger plane flying low over the house, followed by the smaller plane crashing into the home. Hille’s neighbor, Courtney Breth, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
“We were sitting at my neighbors’ pool and we watched the big airlines plane go low, turning and going toward the St. Cloud airport, and then we heard this little airplane, and all of a sudden we saw the little white single-engine plane behind the bigger plane. The little plane just turned and nose-dived straight down.”
According to CBS Minnesota, officials are still investigating the plane crash and the events leading up to it. Two deaths have been reported but their identities have not been revealed yet. The status and identity of the plane’s pilot remain unknown. Some witnesses say that no one was in the house at the time of the crash and that the pilot even managed to escape despite Hille’s contrary statements. As a 15 year-old witness aptly told CBS Minnesota, “Nobody knows what happened yet.” Officials are still unsure of the details of the crash and will release more information as the investigation continues.
The plane crash instantly started a fire according to Breth. Several police and firefighter agencies came rushing in to battle the flames. The fire was so intense that the firefighters had difficulty entering the house and looking for the victims and the pilot in the plane crash.
“It just happened so fast, and before you knew it, the house was in flames,” Breth said.
[Image via Jason Wachter]