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Ex-Microsoft Executive, 3 Children Pulled From East Haven Plane Crash Wreckage

( [email protected] ) Aug 09, 2013 06:09 AM EDT
A small plane crashed in the middle-class neighborhood of East Haven, Connecticut, early Friday morning, engulfing two houses in fire. The pilot and his son in the plane, and two children on the ground are confirmed dead, but authorities say likely six people in total are killed.
NTSB senior air safety investigator Bob Gretz on the scene of plane crash in East Haven, Conn. NTSB

A small plane crashed in the middle-class neighborhood of East Haven, Connecticut, early Friday morning, engulfing two houses in fire. The pilot and his son in the plane, and two children on the ground are confirmed dead, but authorities say likely six people in total are killed.

On Friday night, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Robert Gretz said that there were casualty reports of two or three people in the plane and two or three on the ground.

“Part of the plane is in the basement and part of the house is obviously in the basement, too, so as I speak to you the state police are working with the fire department to find all the victims,” Gretz said.

The two casualties on the plane were former Microsoft executive Bill Henningsgaard and his son Max, and other two on the ground are a 1-year-old baby and a 13-year-old teen.

The plane's pilot was Bill Henningsgaard, of Medina, Washington, the NBC Connecticut reports. He was also the son of former Astoria Mayor Edith Henningsgaard-Miller and brother of City Attorney Blair Henningsgaard, according to Daily Astoria.

He and his son, Max, who is going to be a senior in high school, left the West Coast on Monday to tour colleges on the East Coast and New Haven was on itinerary.

The small plane originating from New Jersey crashed into two homes in East Haven late Friday morning at 11:25 a.m, engulfing both houses on fire.

The addresses of the homes that were struck are 64 and 68 Charter Oak Ave. Both homes are seriously damaged. The incident happened near the Tweed New Haven Airport.

The children’s mother survived the disaster and was being consoled by authorities as well as her priest.

Arriving rescue workers found the mother “very, very out of control,” shouting that her children was still inside onf of the houses, the CBS 2 reported.

“The two guys who went inside say the plane’s wing was sitting on the crib,” Karjanis said.

“There are reports that two children were in the house, there are reports that there are one to three people in the plane,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said earlier Friday. “So far, on a visual inspection only, we’ve been able to identify two bodies and the rest of it will have to play itself out in the hours to come.”

“We are doing everything we possibly can for the mom who is here with her priest and family,” Mayor Joseph Maturo said.

The plane’s fuselage entered one of the houses and the recovery effort was focusing on the home’s basement, Gov. Dannel Malloy said earlier Friday.

“Understand that this is a disaster site,” he said. “There’s a lot damage, a lot of fire damage and a fair amount of water that’s probably now about thigh deep in the basement.”

East Haven United Church will host a vigil for the plane crash victims on Saturday at 7 p.m.