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Two die when plane hits Pennsylvania house

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Plane crashes into Pennsylvania house
  • NEW: Plane narrowly misses sleeping homeowner
  • Two people on board twin-engine plane are killed
  • The incident occurred in Pennsylvania's Westmoreland County
  • People in the house escaped without injury

Read more about this story from CNN affiliate WTAE.

(CNN) -- Two people aboard a twin-engine airplane were killed Saturday when it crashed into a house in western Pennsylvania, sending the homeowner fleeing with his dog, officials said.

Westmoreland County Public Safety spokesman Dan Stevens said skies were clear when the aircraft "just spun in its own axis" and hit the Saltsburg area house, sparking a fire that consumed the plane and the house.

The plane took off from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport outside Latrobe, about 50 miles from the crash scene, Stevens said.

The Beechcraft Baron BE58 crashed 11 minutes later at 9:19 a.m., FAA spokesman Jim Peters said.

The six-seat plane landed next to a man who was sleeping on a couch with his dog in the home, Stevens said. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette identified him as Steve Yanko.

"There was somebody on his shoulder this morning," Stevens said of Yanko, who told him he was only about 15 feet away from the plane's impact.

Yanko's wife was not at home at the time, Stevens said.

The county coroner will identify the two victims and their names will be released after next of kin are formally notified, officials said.

Stevens said the experienced pilot of the plane had recently purchased the aircraft and was at the controls. The other individual was an instructor who was flying along to ensure the owner was comfortable with the twin-engine plane, he said.

The FAA's Peters said he could not confirm the role of the two people onboard.

The FAA was on scene Saturday. Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board will arrive Sunday.

CNN's Phil Gast contributed to this report.