Three people on board a small private plane died after it crashed into a home in Plainville, Massachusetts, on Sunday, just before 5 p.m. local time, officials said, according to the Boston Globe.
The family of four who were inside the home were able to escape, officials said.
The three family members on board the Beechcraft BE36 all died, the Associated Press reported. The victims were identified as Dr. Joseph Rick Kalister, an emergency room director in Athens, Tennessee, his wife, Betty, and their daughter, Nicole.
Plainville police said at a news conference that Knoxville authorities had gone to the family's home in Tennessee and spoken to the last surviving family member, the Boston Globe reported.
"The members of the Starr Regional Medical Center family are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of Dr. Rick Kalister, his wife and daughter," the hospital said in a statement. "He was an excellent doctor, an outstanding ED medical director and a respected, beloved member of our hospital team for the past 13 years. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the Kalister family during this very difficult time."
The youngest victim, Nicole, was was scheduled to attend new student orientation in Boston at Northeastern University the following week, WCVB reported.
The homeowner, Aaron Rice, told reporters that he and his wife were downstairs and their two sons, ages 10 and 14, were playing upstairs when he saw the "fireball going down the back of the house" and "we shouted [at] the kids to get out."
"And they came downstairs with the dogs and one of the cats," Rice added. "I ran back inside a few times for the rest of the cats. I don't know how the plane hit, but the house above the kids' rooms was on fire when I came outside."
The family was able to successfully escape before their home was engulfed by flames.
Plainville Fire Chief Justin Alexander called the family's escape a "miracle."
"I saw the back of the plane going into the side of the house on the roof, and then all of a sudden there was just this boom noise," 16-year-old Mary O'Rourke, who witnessed the crash, said to WCVB.
The plane had taken off from Lancaster Airport in Pennsylvania and was on its way to an airport in Norwood, Massachusetts, CBS News reported.
The pilot sent out a distress call before the plane crashed into the house and said he had no engine control.
The National Transportation Safety Board along with the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the cause of the crash and will likely focus on the engine, officials said.
The home was engulfed by the three-alarm fire, and firefighters were quickly on the scene.
Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.
Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at email@example.com.
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