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Plane Hits House, Kills 2

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Pittsburgh, PATwo people have died in a small plane crash in Westmoreland County. The crash happened on Monday, August 9, when a twin engine Beech Baron BE-58 crashed into a house in the countryside.

According to a report in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Westmoreland County Deputy Coroner Gerald Fritz said the victims have been tentatively identified as Edward Francis Sobota, 65, of Unity, and Theodore P. Kokolis, 66, of Moon. Their identities are expected to be confirmed after autopsies today, Mr. Fritz said.

The two men were both experienced pilots making a familiarization trip in the recently purchased airplane. It is not known who was flying the plane when it spiralled into the house around 9:20 am.

Stephen Yanko, the 60-year old homeowner, was asleep in the basement when the plane crash occurred. He escaped without injury with his dog. He reportedly called his wife, Rose, who was out with their daughter at the time.

"He just called and told me the house blew up," Ms. Yanko told the paper. "He didn't know a plane had hit. Why would there be a plane in your roof, especially out here, in the middle of nowhere?"

Neighbors who witnessed the accident said they heard sputtering noise followed by a loud explosion. The impact shook neighboring houses. The Yanko's house was engulfed in flames, as was the wreck of the twin engine plane. The fire burned for over an hour, before fire crews managed to get it under control. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate and determine the cause of the crash.

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