Gary, IN – Authorities say two men were killed when a small plane crashed in Northern Indiana on Wednesday morning.
According to to ABC7 News, the plane, a Cirrus SR 22, took off from Smyrna, Tennessee at 9:25 am Wednesday and crashed two hours later near the intersection of 7th Avenue and Clark Road, which is an elementary school about a mile short of Gary/Chicago International Airport.
“We were very fortunate that none of the children or any of the attendees at the community center were in danger at any time,” said Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson.
News4jax reports local officials removed the bodies from the scene around 5:30 pm. While the FAA notes that the plane is registered to Gandy AIR LLC in St. Augustine, Florida, the identities of the victims was not known as of Wednesday night.
National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Authority investigators returned to the crash site Thursday morning in an effort to determine what caused the plane to simply “drop from the sky” and explode into flames, as several witnesses described the incident.
Fire officials say the craft was fully engulfed in flames by the time they arrived at the scene.
“It was a general aviation aircraft we believe to be en route to the Gary airport,” said Teresa Everett, fire chief for Gary. “We don’t know the reason it was not able to land. That is under investigation.”
NBC Chicago has more on the Gary, Indiana plane crash in the video below: