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Small plane crashes in New Jersey, sets houses ablaze; pilot missing

WOODBRIDGE, N.J.   — A small plane crashed and exploded in a residential neighborhood in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City on Tuesday morning, setting two houses ablaze and leaving the pilot unaccounted for.

The twin-engine Cessna 414 crashed into a house in the Colonia section of Woodbridge Township at 11 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said.

No one was in that house, but flames spread to another house, where a woman escaped injury, Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac said. He does not believe anyone on the ground was injured.

The flight had left Leesburg, Virginia, with only the pilot aboard, authorities said. It had been headed to Linden Airport, about 4 miles from the crash site.

The wreckage, and presumably the pilot, remained lodged in the basement of the house the plane hit, authorities said. There was no word on the pilot’s condition.

The weather in the area was cloudy and misty at the time of the crash.

The fires were brought under control, the mayor said.

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