US couple, teen daughter killed as small plane en route to Columbus crashes in backyard of Philadelphia home

Three people were killed when a small aircraft crashed into the backyard of a home in a residential neighbourhood near Philadelphia, US police said.

The Associated Press August 09, 2019 09:01:36 IST
US couple, teen daughter killed as small plane en route to Columbus crashes in backyard of Philadelphia home
  • A small plane crashed in the backyard of a suburban Philadelphia home on Thursday morning, killing a husband and wife and their 19-year-old daughter

  • The single-engine propeller plane came down shortly after 6.00 am in Upper Moreland, Pennsylvania, around 20 miles from Philadelphia, according to local police

  • The victims were a husband and wife, aged 60 and 54 respectively, and their 19-year-old daughter, the statement added

Willow Grove, Pennsylvania: A small plane crashed in the backyard of a suburban Philadelphia home on Thursday morning, killing a husband and wife and their 19-year-old daughter, who were the only people on board.

The plane went down around in Willow Grove, about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of Philadelphia, shortly after taking off from Northeast Philadelphia Airport en route to Columbus, Ohio. Officials said that wasn't the final destination but couldn't elaborate.

US couple teen daughter killed as small plane en route to Columbus crashes in backyard of Philadelphia home

Upper Moreland Police Chief Michael Murphy speaks with the media about a small plane crash sets in a residential neighborhood in Upper Moreland. AP

The plane hit several trees before it stopped, and the debris was spread across four backyards, said Upper Moreland Police Chief Michael Murphy.

John Quatrini lives nearby and told the Philadelphia Inquirer he was startled awake by a deafening sound.

"It sounded like the plane was coming right for my house," he said. "I thought, 'This is it, I'm done.'"

The victims were identified as 60-year-old Jasvir Khurana, his 54-year-old wife Divya Khurana and their daughter Kiran, all from Lower Merion Township, in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Jasvir Khurana was a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Temple University's Katz School of Medicine, where he studied bone disease.

"Dr. Khurana has been a valued faculty member in the Department of Pathology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University since 2002. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones," the university said in a statement.

His wife, Divya Khurana, was a pediatric neurologist at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and a professor at Drexel University College of Medicine.

No one on the ground was injured and no homes were damaged, which Murphy called "a miracle."

The National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the scene in the afternoon, and their investigation is underway, according to Adam Gerhardt, an air traffic investigator with the agency.

There is no indication the pilot made a distress call and the plane was only in the air about three minutes before the crash, Gerhardt said.

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