TOKYO – A small plane crashed into a quiet neighborhood in Tokyo on Sunday, killing the pilot, a passenger and a woman on the ground, while three people were pulled alive from the wreckage, firefighters and TV reported.
The single-engine propeller plowed into and set ablaze a row of houses shortly after takeoff from an airport used by small aircraft about 500 yards away in Tokyo's western suburb of Chofu.
Television footage showed a mangled plane, broken up with its tail upside down, resting on a residential lot where dozens of firefighters were battling the blaze and treating the casualties.
Tokyo Fire Department officials said the three dead suffered heart and lung failures. Five others, including three passengers and two on the ground, were taken to hospitals but their conditions were not immediately known.
The plane was flying to Izu Oshima Island, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean, according to NHK public broadcaster.