A single-engine plane crashed in the backyard of a Camden County home Wednesday afternoon, trapping two people in the wreckage.
The aircraft landed upside down in the backyard of a home along Linden Avenue in Lindenwold shortly before 1 p.m. after somehow missing houses.
"It looks like it came between four homes kind of on a diagonal, struck some trees and then ended up on the ground," said Lindenwold Police Chief Tom Brennan.
As SkyForce10 hovered overhead a short time later, you could see firefighters from Lindenwold and Cherry Hill working on the aircraft that crashed into some trees and split into two.
"You could tell something wasn't right," said Willie Jones who heard the plane go down. "It was too low. The sound was too low."
After more than 30 minutes, crews pulled two men, the 66-year-old pilot and a 72-year-old passenger, from the upside down cockpit. Medics medivaced one occupant and took the other by ambulance -- they were conscious and breathing -- to Cooper University Hospital, said investigators. Police said they are expected to survive and their injuries appeared to be non-life-threatening. No one on the ground was hurt.
"It's kind of crazy," said Cydnei, who lives next door to the yard where the plane crashed. "There are so many houses and trees around here but somehow it managed to miss like everything."
Officials say the plane took off from Flying W Airport in Medford, New Jersey but it's unclear where it was headed. A search of the FAA registry shows the plane is a 1946 Ercoupe 415-C registered to a man from Chesapeake City, Cecil County, Maryland. Investigators said 911 calls alerted them to the crash.
Besides the wreckage, crews also needed to clean up a fuel leak, said investigators.
County hazardous materials crews and the Federal Aviation Administration were called to investigate the scene, said Camden County spokesman Dan Keeshen.
Streets surrounding the crash were closed throughout the day but were later reopened late Wednesday afternoon.
It had been about 45 years since the last time a plane went down in Lindenwold.