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Plane crashes into Chicago home, but elderly couple survives

A twin engine cargo aircraft crashed into a Chicago couple's home early Tuesday morning. The couple were unhurt but fire crews are searching for the pilot. 

Chicago police say a small twin-engine plane has crashed into a home on the city's southwest side.

Police spokesman Ron Gaines says the twin-engine plane crashed into the house around 2:45 a.m. Tuesday.

“A big part of the airplane was in their living room,” said neighbor Luz Cazares. The 62-year-old said she ran into the backyard after the crash. “I jumped the fence and knocked on the back door of the kitchen; I thought they were dead,” she told the Chicago Tribune.

An elderly couple inside the 1 1/2-story frame home in the 6500 block of Knox Street were not injured, officials at the scene said. Fire crews were working to stabilize the house in order to search for the pilot, who they believe was the only person on board, according to the Tribune.

FAA spokesperson Elizabeth Corey said the plane was a cargo jet that departed Runway 31C at Chicago's Midway Airport this morning.

The plane was enroute to Chicago Executive Airport in Palwaukee. Soon after departure, the pilot reported engine problems and tried to return to Midway, but crashed approximately one-quarter mile off Runway 31C at about 2:42 a.m., according to preliminary information from the FAA.

Gaines confirms that the occupants of the home were not injured but he did not know about the condition of the pilot. Fire officials told local news outlets they were still searching for the plane's pilot.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Corey told the Chicago Sun-Times the small cargo plane, an Aero Commander 500, had just departed from Midway International Airport on its way to Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling when the pilot reported engine problems and tried to return to Midway. The plane crashed about a quarter-mile from its departing runway.

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