Plane Crash Georgia

Fire officials look at the scene where an airplane crashed into an apartment complex Wednesday in Atlanta. [DAVID GOLDMAN/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]

ATLANTA (AP) — A small plane crashed into a townhome Wednesday morning in a leafy Atlanta-area neighborhood near a major interstate, killing two people and tearing off the home's brick exterior, authorities said.

The crash scattered wreckage and shook up nearby residents. Both the pilot and a passenger died, but there were no injuries on the ground because no one was home at the time, DeKalb County Fire Capt. Dion Bentley told reporters.

"I'm feeling very lucky," said David Youngpeter, who lives near the townhome. "It was too close for comfort."

The Piper PA-28 plane crashed shortly after taking off from DeKalb-Peachtree Airport outside Atlanta about 10:30 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. Conditions were foggy in the area.

Jared Hauck said he was working from his home about 1,000 feet from the crash site because he had adopted a dog the day before.

"I heard a really loud crash and some rustling," he said. "It didn't sound like anything normal."

Hauck said he found a piece of wreckage outside his front door.

The end of one of the airport's runways is about 1.2 miles from where the crash occurred, and Youngpeter said he regularly hears planes overhead.

Bentley said the plane crashed into a six-unit townhome and crews had trouble accessing the wreckage and reaching one of the plane's occupants. DeKalb County Medical Examiner Pat Bailey says officials are not yet ready to identify the victims.

A large section of wall and part of the roof was knocked out of a building at the townhome complex. DeKalb County Fire Marshal Joe Cox declared the units unsafe because of structural damage and fuel vapor, according to county officials.

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