A small plane crashed shortly after take-off from an airport near Cleveland, Ohio, killing all four passengers, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said late Monday night. Local reports said that the plane crashed near Cuyahoga County Airport in Willoughby Hills at about 10 p.m.
The crash reportedly took place at the intersection of Bishop Road and Curtiss Wright Parkway, near the Lake County-Cuyahoga County border, but did not cause any damage to property at the unpopulated site. Authorities reportedly said that the plane was on fire when officials reached the crash site. According to a local news report, officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
"We know it was a small, single-engine plane and that at some point it caught fire," Ohio State Highway Patrol Lieutenant Rudy Zupanc said, according to Reuters. "We are still in the investigative phase." Zupanc also reportedly said that the plane's destination and the total number of people on board remained unclear.
According to Cleveland.com, Willoughby Hills Assistant Fire Chief Tom Talcott said, citing a local resident, that the plane sounded as if it was “in distress,” while another resident said that “it sounded like car engine backfiring.”
"It's just a shame," Mark Gerald, 45, a local resident, said, according to Cleveland.com. "We thought we had (a chance to help them). It was too hot. ... The whole fuselage was involved."
In 2009, a single-engine plane crashed shortly after taking off from Cuyahoga County Airport, killing two people on board the small plane.