The Signal Hill Fire Department confirms that two people are believed to be on board a small plane, that crashed into the Aero Estates Airport - near Belleville.
The FAA told St. Clair County Sheriff's Department that a pilot and passenger were en route to the Parks Airport in Cahokia, but officials will not say where the plane was coming from or what time it took off.
If two people are, in fact, on board - it is not believed they survived. The fire department told me earlier that they did not pull any survivors from the crash site and that the plane was still on fire and embedded in a burning hangar.
The Aero Estates Airport is an area made up of homes and private plane hangars. In this case, the plane crashed into the hangar and caught fire. The fire then spread to the home, which is attached - according to Signal Hill's fire chief.
Chief Greg Render told me the homeowners were out to dinner when the plane crashed at 6:40 p.m. Officials have spoken with the homeowners and the occupants of the home are all accounted for. No injuries were reported on the ground.
Neighbors in the subdivision did not believe the plane belonged to any of the area residents.
It's unclear if the pilot ran into trouble in the air and attempted an emergency landing in Aero Estates. The weather was rainy and cloudy at the time of the crash. Aero Estates is equipped with runway lights that could be controlled from aircraft. The fire department at the scene learned the airport is not equipped to support instrument landings.
Local authorities are investigating. Federal investigators from the NTSB, FAA, and FBI have also been notified.
Diana Zoga is a general assignment reporter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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