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Six dead, 3 in a house, after small plane crashes near Washington, D.C.

Small plane hits three homes in suburban Washington, at least six dead, including three in a house

At least three passengers and three residents of a house died when a small jet crashed into a Gaithersburg, Md., home Monday morning near the Montgomery County Airpark, county fire officials said.

The crash, which occurred about 10:45 a.m., set several homes on fire, destroying one and damaging two others, county fire spokesman Pete Piringer told reporters at the scene.

Three of the dead were on the plane and three people who were living in the house hit by the plane were dead. None of the names was immediately released.

The three damaged homes are in a cul-de-sac in the 19700 block of Drop Forge Lane less than a mile from the airpark.

Piringer says the plane appeared to be on approach to the Montgomery County Airpark.

Investigators said it's too soon to know what went wrong but several eyewitnesses told WTOP-TV that the plane appeared to be struggling.

Witnesses told television news crews that they saw the airplane appear to struggle to maintain altitude before going into a nose dive and crashing.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash in Gaithersburg, Md., officials said.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

1:54 p.m.: This story was updated with the number of dead.

11:30 a.m.: This story was updated with new information on the missing.

It was initially published at 10:33 a.m.

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