Plane crashes into Colonia neighborhood, 3 houses on fire
WOODBRIDGE — A plane crashed into a home in the Colonia section on Tuesday morning, setting three homes on fire and killing the pilot.
The FAA said a Cessna 414 crashed into a home on Berkley and Princeton avenues around 11 a.m. Authorities had not identified the pilot Tuesday afternoon.
Woodbridge police Capt. Scott Kuzma said the plane hit the home at 84 Berkeley Ave. and damaged houses on either side. No one was home at 84 and 88 Berkeley Ave. and a resident inside 80 Berkeley Ave. was able to get out, according to Kuzma.
Mayor John McCormac told reporters at the crash site that the plane came through the roof but no one was home at the time. The mayor said that the pilot was unaccounted for and none of the rescuers have been able to get near the plane.
In a video posted by Michael Yonone on his Facebook page, the home is completely engulfed in flames.
PSE&G's outage map reported 430 customers without power in the neighborhood of the crash as of 12:30 p.m. That number was down to 72 by 1:20 p.m. Gas was also turned off in the area.
CBS New York reported at least 200 firefighters were on scene at the crash.
A NBC 4 New York helicopter pilot who lives a block from the crash scene reported heavy flames and black smoke initially coming from the fire.
The plane was headed to Linden from Leesburgh, Virginia, according to ABC 7 Eyewitness News. The nearest airport is in Linden.
The location of the crash is three blocks from the Claremont Avenue Elementary School. A caller to Dennis & Judi on New Jersey 101.5 said she had received a notification that the school will have an early release at 1:10 p.m.
The FAA said it along with the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate and determine probable cause of the accident.
Township officials are helping to collect donations to help the families who lost their homes and belongings.
Township employees will be at the Evergreen Senior Center at 400 Inman Avenue from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday to accept the donations.
Checks can be made payable to Woodbridge Community Charity Fund. The township also is accepting gift cards from established wholesale/retail outlets.