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Jet leaves Tulsa, crashes into Indiana homes

The Beechcraft Premier I twin-jet had left Tulsa, Okla.'s Riverside Airport and crashed near South Bend Regional Airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig in Oklahoma City said.
By TOM COYNE Associated Press Modified: March 18, 2013 at 1:03 am •  Published: March 17, 2013

UPDATE: 7:45 a.m. Randy Magdalinski, chief coroner for Saint Joseph County, Ind. said autopsies will be performed Monday morning on two bodies from the airplane crash in South Bend Sunday afternoon. He said names are not expected to be released until Monday afternoon. He said two people on the airplane were hospitalized with injuries.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A private jet apparently experiencing mechanical trouble crashed Sunday in a northern Indiana neighborhood, hitting three homes and killing two people aboard the plane, authorities said.

The crash injured two other people aboard the Beechcraft Premier I twin-jet and one person on the ground, South Bend Assistant Fire Chief John Corthier said late Sunday. Corthier said officials believe everyone connected with the damaged homes had been accounted for and there were no known missing people.

The jet had left Tulsa, Okla.’s Riverside Airport and crashed late Sunday afternoon near South Bend Regional Airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig in Oklahoma City said.

South Bend Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Maggie Scroope said three people injured in the crash were being treated there; one was in serious condition and two were in fair condition.

The plane was registered to 7700 Enterprises of Montana LLC in Helena, Mont. The company is owned by Wes Caves and does business as DigiCut Systems in Tulsa, Okla. It makes window film and paint overlay for automobiles.

A woman identifying herself as Caves' wife answered the phone at their home Sunday and said, “I think he's dead,” before hanging up.

Although authorities believe everyone was accounted for, Corthier said firefighters still want to search a heavily damaged home.

“I believe they said they're going to have to tear down a portion of the house to make it stable. That probably won't happen until (Monday),” he said.

Jet fuel inside another house posed a hazard, Corthier said.

“The leaking has stopped, but there is fuel in the basement. That is one of our major concerns, the fuel,” Corthier said.

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