5 Dead When Small Plane Crashes into Homes

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) -- A small plane trying to make an emergency landing crashed into two houses Tuesday, killing five people and starting fires that seriously burned three others in one of the homes, authorities said.

The identities of the dead were not immediately released.

At least two victims were aboard the plane, which was registered to a Daytona Beach company linked to NASCAR's late chairman. A NASCAR spokesman in Charlotte, N.C., said the public relations staff was "in the information gathering stage" but he had no further details.

Both of the homes that were hit were largely gutted by the flames, and smoke could be seen rising from the neighborhood where the plane went down around 8:40 a.m.

Matt Minnetto, a fire investigator with Sanford Fire Department, said two people aboard the plane were confirmed dead in the crash and the plane itself was scattered in several pieces. At least three people were injured in one of the homes, including two adults and a boy about 10 years old who had burns over 80 to 90 percent of his body, Minnetto said.

© 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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