Plane Crashes into Virginia Apartment; Two Injured

HERNDON, Va. (WUSA9) -- Two people suffered injuries when a small plane nosedived into the living room of an apartment building in the 2200 block of Astoria Circle in Herndon at approximately 12:17 a.m., according to Virginia State police.

When you look at the apartment building you see the tail of a plane sticking out from the top floor. The plane crashed just a few feet away from the apartment building's gas line.

The pilot of the plane was headed from Philadelphia to Manassas Regional Airport and we're hearing his plane, a Cessna 177B, was low on fuel at approximately 12 a.m.

The pilot and passenger, we're told, walked out of the plane after they crashed into the living room. They called 911 and spoke to residents who rushed out of their bedrooms to witness the unbelievable. Virginia State Police say four adults and two children were asleep in the apartment.

The residents say their bedrooms were completely intact. So the pictures remained on the wall and they didn't see any damage to the house until they opened their bedroom doors and saw a plane inside their living room.

We spoke to some of the residents early Friday morning. One resident named David Ventura told us about his wife's reaction:

"She went from her room to the living room and she saw the plane inside the living room and she was really nervous. She was screaming and everything and -- one of the guys that was driving the plane told her to call 911. But she was so nervous that she -- she said that she got her cell phone and she was trying to dial 911 and she couldn't because she was in shock."

Ventura lives on the third floor with his wife and his two small children, ages 2 and 6. He says no one was hurt and the kids even slept through the incident. His wife was obviously shaken up. She was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital for non-life threatening injuries according to Virginia State Police.

Virginia State Police say the pilot, 61-year-old William Larson of Vienna, Va., was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening injuries. The plane's passenger, Tache L. Alejandro of Orlando, Fla., suffered only minor injuries and was treated at the scene, according to police.

Many of the people at the apartment complex are saying they are blessed. Some folks are saying they should even play the lottery because they are very lucky.

The Red Cross is at the scene. They are assisting four families, 11 children and 11 adults.

Crews started moving cars out of the parking lot to prepare for removing the plane. A crane is in place to remove plane.

Officials say the building had significant exterior damage so residents were evacuated by state police after then incident but the building appears to be structurally sound.

According to Virginia State Police, the plane belonged to Aerial Photographers, LLC in Vienna, Va. Virginia State Police say Larson and Alejandro were taking infra-red photographs when the plane had electrical problems and the engine cut off. Police say the plane was also running low on fuel and Larson had contacted Dulles International Airport to re-route its destination. The plane was originally headed from Northeast Philadelphia Airport to Manassas Regional Airport.

The NTSB and FAA are on the scene investigating the incident.

 

Republished with permission of WUSA9.com.

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