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10 dead as small plane slams into house in Philippines

A small passenger plane carrying five people crashed into a house shortly after takeoff north of Manila on Saturday, killing all those onboard and five people on the ground, officials said.

Rescuers sift through the debris following a crash upon takeoff of a Piper PA-23 Apache six-seater twin-engine light aircraft Saturday, March 17, 2018, on a residential area in Plaridel township, Bulacan province north of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo)

The Piper-23 Apache plane took off from the airport in Plaridel town in Bulacan province then crash-landed and smashed into the house, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesman Eric Apolonio and police said.

The burnt wreckage of a Piper PA-23 Apache six-seater twin-engine light aircraft is seen at right as rescuers recover the bodies of victims following a crash upon takeoff Saturday, March 17, 2018, on a residential area in Plaridel township, Bulacan province north of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo)

All five Filipinos on board the six-seat plane were killed, and the crash killed five people on the ground, Plaridel police chief Supt. Julio Lizardo said by phone. The crash ignited a fire in a house that was hit by the aircraft, he said.

Two other people on the ground were injured by burning debris, Lizardo said.

Rescuers sift through the debris following a crash upon takeoff of a Piper PA-23 Apache six-seater twin-engine light aircraft Saturday, March 17, 2018, on a residential area in Plaridel township, Bulacan province north of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo)

The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

Witnesses said the plane hit a tree and electric post before slamming into the house.

TV footage showed parts of the plane wreckage and the shattered walls of the house at the still-smoldering crash site.

A rescuer looks a plane crash victim following a crash of a Piper PA-23 Apache six-seater twin-engine light aircraft Saturday, March 17, 2018, on a residential area in Plaridel township, Bulacan province north of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo)

 

Apolonio said the aircraft, which was operated by Lite Air Express, was bound for northern Laoag city. All the aircraft operated by the transport and courier company were grounded while investigators tried to determine the cause of the crash, he said.