1 dead after small plane crashes in Long Island backyard

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — At least one person has died after a small plane crashed in a Long Island neighborhood Tuesday morning, according to officials in Suffolk County.

An explosion and fire were reported about 9 a.m. in the backyard of a home on Chamille Lane in East Patchogue, police said.

“I thought it was World War III,” said 16-year-old Hailley O’Neill, whose backyard sits behind the crash site. “I screamed. I was calling my mom saying, ‘Oh my God mom, what happened?'”

Flames ignited by the downed plane — which is believed to be privately owned – have been extinguished, Suffolk County officials said.

The deadly crash prompted the evacuation of homes within a two-block radius of the burning wreckage.

“The explosion rocked the house,” said next-door neighbor John Scileppi, who ran into the backyard after the crash. The scene left him at a “total loss of words.”

It does not appear that anyone else was hurt in the crash. There’s no word yet about what caused the plane to go down.

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