Three dead as small plane crashes into Tokyo suburb

TOKYO: Three people were killed Sunday when a small plane crashed into a Tokyo suburb shortly after takeoff, leaving nearby homes and cars ablaze and the charred remains of the fuselage lying in a burnt-out residence.


The single-engine propeller aircraft with a 36-year-old pilot and four passengers on board crashed at around 11:00 am (0200 GMT) shortly after leaving Chofu airport on the outskirts of the Japanese capital, public broadcaster reported.

Public broadcaster, quoting police, said two people on board and one woman on the ground were killed while five others were injured.

Press news agency said the two who died aboard the plane were the pilot and a male passenger.

“Three people — two from the airplane and one local resident — were brought to hospital in a state of cardiac and respiratory arrest,” a Tokyo Fire Department official told AFP, a term which first responders typically use in Japan before a doctor pronounces death.

“We also carried three more people from the airplane and two other local residents to hospital, but their condition is unknown.”

An AFP photographer at the scene saw rescuers rushing to an ambulance carrying two victims on covered stretchers with the remains of the charred fuselage of the Piper PA-46 nearby.

At least three houses and two cars were on fire in the residential district of Chofu just some 500 metres from the airport.

The crash also damaged the roofs of other houses nearby while the plane´s fuselage was left upside down in the charred remains of a home.