Update 7/26 7:35 a.m.
The Federal Aviation Administration has released the names of the two victims in Thursday’s plane crash. The pilot, 81-year-old Gerald Clayton is in serious condition. A passenger, Dennis King has been upgraded to fair condition.
Update 4:00 p.m.
Columbus police and fire departments responded around 9:30 a.m. after receiving reports that an airplane crashed into a home on the northside of the city.
Hiroko Nakao, who was renting the home, was inside when the plane crashed into the backside of the house, but she was able to get out without any injuries.
Both the pilot and his passenger suffered severe burns. One of the men also suffered a head injury.
Police say one of the men was able to get out of the plane. A bystander pulled the other man out before the airplane erupted into flames. But both were conscious when first responders arrived on the scene.
Columbus Police Department spokesperson Matt Myers says the men are lucky to be alive.
“I think we are very blessed today that the two individuals in the plane were able to get out,” he says. “The plane was completely inside the residence, and it was fully engulfed when officers and firefighters arrived.”
WTHR helicopter footage shows the extent of the damage to the home. Only remnants of the airplane are still visible.
The air traffic control Manager at Columbus Municipal Airport says the propeller plane was performing a series of take offs and landings. He could not say the exact the reason the aircraft was in flight.
The names of the victims have not been released by the FAA.
Update 11:45 a.m.
Two men are seriously injured after a private airplane crashed into a home in Columbus Thursday morning. Both the pilot and his passenger, who was a maintenance technician, suffered severe burns. One of the men also suffered a head injury. A woman who was renting the home at 2223 Broadmoor Lane was in the house when the airplane crashed into it but she was able to get out without injury.
Police say the plane hit a tree before crashing into the house.
The Columbus Police Department received multiple calls beginning at 9:34 am reporting the crash. Witnesses indicated large amounts of smoke on the scene.
Police say one of the men was able to get out of the plane. A bystander pulled the other man out before the airplane erupted into flames. Both were conscious. One of the men was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital and then lifelines to Wishard hospital in Indianapolis. The other was taken directly to Wishard Hospital.
Columbus Police Department spokesperson Matt Myers says the men, who have not been identified, are lucky to be alive.
“We’re very fortunate to only have two injuries at this point. Our thoughts are with the individuals who are injured but it could have been much worse,” said Myers.
The home that was struck is nearly destroyed, police officials say.
Myers says the Columbus Fire Department was able to contain the damage mostly to the one home, although a couple other homes on the east and west side of the main home have sustained some minor damage because of the heat from the airplane.
The airplane was from Columbus as was at least one of the men.
According to state police, officials with the Federal Aviation Administration should be on the scene this afternoon to take over the investigation.
Update 11:35 a.m.
A fire in Columbus appears to be under control. A plane crashed into a home on the north side of the city this morning starting the blaze. No one in the house was hurt as WTHR reports, but those who were on board the small plane are suffering from critical injuries:
“One person was taken by LifeLine helicopter to Wishard Hospital in critical condition after being taken to Columbus Regional Hospital. Another person was taken directly to Wishard. The victims have severe burns, cuts and abrasions.”
Police and fire crews are on the scene of a plane crash in Columbus, Ind. It happened this morning on the north side of the city. Police have established a command post at Faith Lutheran Church on Central Avenue near the crash.
A house in the area is on fire, The Republic reports on its breaking news liveblog:
“Smoke could be seen billowing in the sky from areas such as the Kroger grocery store at Central and 25th Street, witnesses said.
Republic photographer Joe Harpring, who is at the scene, said at 10:05 a.m. that he could see fire coming out of the roof of the home, much of which has burned away, Harpring said the plane was inside the house.”
WFIU/WTIU’s Gretchen Frazee is on the way to the site. Follow her on Twitter for updates.
Alex Dierckman, Jimmy Jenkins and Sara Wittmeyer contributed to this report.