Passenger presumed dead, pilot injured in Connecticut plane crash
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(Reuters) - A twin-engine plane crashed on Tuesday afternoon in the downtown business district of East Hartford, Connecticut, injuring the pilot and two people on the ground, and the only passenger on board was presumed to be dead, authorities said.
The pilot had been taken to a local hospital with "significant" injuries, East Hartford Fire Chief John Oates told reporters. He said the passenger was believed to still be in the wreckage.
The New York Times, citing unnamed federal law enforcement sources, reported on its website that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking into whether the crash was intentional.
The pilot had told investigators that the plane did not crash accidentally, the newspaper reported.
Reuters could not immediately confirm the report.
East Hartford Police Lieutenant Timothy Juergens said by phone that the two people who were injured on the ground when the plane crashed at around 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT) were taken to hospital but did not have life-threatening injuries.
"The area is very busy at that time of day and it missed everything. It's a miracle that more people weren't injured or killed," Juergens said.
Local broadcaster WFSB reported the plane was "in pieces", and that wires and telephone poles had been knocked down. Photos published by the broadcaster showed flames and black smoke shooting from the wreckage.
Juergens said the plane departed from Hartford-Brainard Airport and was likely to have been attempting to return when it crashed. He said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would investigate the crash.
Representatives for the FAA did not return an email and an FBI spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Louise Ireland)
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