By Janet DiGiacomo and Ed Payne
Private jet crashes into neighborhood
NEW: The neighborhood is under mandatory evacuation until Monday morning
2 people on board a small plane died when it crashes into several homes
Three people are injured
The private jet damages three homes
(CNN) — A corporate jet, sheared in half — its nose poking through the front window of a shattered home.
Such was the scene in a South Bend, Indiana, neighborhood Sunday when a Hawker Beechcraft 390 slammed into a row of single-story homes, damaging three.
Two of the four people aboard the plane died on impact.
The other two were injured, as was one person on the ground, Assistant Fire Chief John Corthier said late Sunday.
The plane was attempting to circle back around to the city’s regional airport after a failed landing attempt when it crashed along Iowa Street.
Moments earlier, the plane’s pilot had radioed for help, CNN affiliate WNDU-TV reported.
He was experiencing problems with the technical equipment, he said.
The plane was almost on its back and was “spiraling down,” resident Theresa Futa told WNDU.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life ever.”
A representative of the National Transportation Safety Board arrived late Sunday to investigate the crash.
The neighborhood of about 50 homes is under mandatory evacuation until at least 7 a.m. local time, officials said. Utilities were shut off as a precaution over concerns of a possible gas leak in the area.
Two shelters have been set up to house residents.
The plane left Tulsa, Oklahoma on Sunday afternoon, and was scheduled to land at South Bend Regional Airport about 80 minutes later at 4:20 p.m. ET, WNDU reported.
The troubled aircraft startled Shelby Ramirez, who was driving in the area.
“I happened to see the shadow and I said ‘Oh my God. I’ve never seen a plane that low,'” Ramirez said. “And I would say if it was 3 feet above the top of the car it was something. It could have dropped on us.”