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Two people died and another person was critically injured, police said, when a small plane crashed near City Airport on Detroit's east side Sunday after federal authorities said the pilot reported landing gear problems and low fuel. 

 

The crash occurred about 8 p.m. in the 3500 block of Milton Avenue, about a mile from the airport, officially known as Coleman A. Young International Airport. The Cessna 210 was headed to the airport, police said, when it crashed into a vacant, grassy lot.

The crash in a neighborhood spurred some residents to rush to the scene and attempt to save those on board, witnesses said. One man used an ax to break a window to pull one person from the plane, they said.

A 17-year-old male was hospitalized in critical condition, police said. Two others died, they said.

The plane  was destroyed by fire, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

According to preliminary information, “the pilot had reported a landing gear problem and low fuel to air traffic controllers shortly before the accident,” said Lynn Lunsford, FAA spokesman.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, Lunsford said. The NTSB is the lead investigative agency.

CLOSE

A small plane has crashed at City Airport at Milton Avenue near Eldon, police said. Bianca Mack

The crash drew onlookers to the scene before police moved onlookers about a half-block away as flames shot up from the plane. Shelley Solomon, 48, who lives in the neighborhood saw the news on Facebook and headed to the scene.

Bianca Mack, 26, took video of the initial crash scene. “It looked like it hit the tree, then hit the ground,” she said Sunday night. “It was smoking a lot. There wasn’t fire at first.

“... It’s sad. They were yelling, ‘Help me! Help me!’ It was sad.”

 

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