2014 | Police & Fire

Update: Plane Crashes into House in Gaithersburg, Six Confirmed Dead

Three killed in airplane, another three killed inside home the plane struck, officials say

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Update – Tuesday 3:45 p.m. – Six people were killed when a plane crashed in Gaithersburg Monday morning, damaging several homes in a residential community.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said during a press conference ?shortly after the crash? that three people were killed aboard the plane. Police later said that three occupants inside one of the houses were killed from a resulting fire.

Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger said a mother and her two young boys were found dead together on the second floor of the home. Police later identified the victims as Marie Gemmell, 36, and her two sons–Cole Gemmell, 3, and Devon Gemmell, an infant.

Police identified the occupants of the plane as Health Decision United president and CEO Michael Rosenberg, 66, David Hartman, 52, and Chikioke Ogbuka, 31, all of Raleigh, N.C. Roesnberg was the pilot, according to The Washington Post.

?The plane first struck the roof of one home, splitting the fuselage from one of fuel-filled wings and sending the wing into the home that sustained the worst fire damage, according to a description of the wreckage from National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt. The fuselage came to rest near a third home, Sumwalt said, and the black box has been recovered and is being analyzed.

Sumwalt did not say what may have caused the trash. The investigation at the scene is focused on evidence gathering, Sumwalt said.

Officials initially reported that five people lived inside the home at 19733 Drop Forge Lane. They said the father, later identified as Ken Gemmell, and another child were outside the home at the time of the crash and accounted for.

Piringer first reported the plane crash via his Twitter account at 10:47 a.m. He said the plane crashed into a home on Drop Forge Lane off of Snouffer School Road, a location about a half mile northwest of Montgomery County Airpark.

An air traffic control conversation from shortly before the crash mentions numerous birds near the airpark's runway and then mentions the crash itself. (The audio was posted by news helicopter pilot Brad Freitas):

In a statement the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was an Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100 twin-engine jet that crashed as it attempted to land at the airpark. NTSB described it as a "business" jet.

Rosenberg, the pilot, previously crashed an airplane at the airpark in 2010, but was not seriously injured, according to the Montgomery County Gazette.

The airpark notes on its website, "Our 4,200-foot runway, which has three instrument approaches, makes us the closest 'jetport' to the Nation's Capital." A plane previously crashed at the airpark in August, causing serious injuries to the pilot.

 

The location of the crash (the red pin) is near the Montgomery County Airpark.