Washington: A leading Indian-American doctor couple and their 19-year-old daughter were killed instantly when their small private plane crashed in the backyard of a suburban Philadelphia home on Thursday morning, authorities said.
The victims have been identified as 60-year-old Dr Jasvir Khurana, his wife, 54-year-old Dr Divya Khurana, and their daughter, Kiran Khurana. The family has one surviving daughter who was not on the plane, US media outlets reported.
Khurana, a licensed pilot, was at the controls of the 44-year-old aircraft, which was registered to him, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The husband-and-wife physician-researchers both trained at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and moved to the United States more than two decades ago.
The National Transportation Security Board (NTSB) said the plane left Northeast Philadelphia Airport shortly after 6 am and was heading to The Ohio State University Airport in Columbus.
The flight lasted for about three minutes before the single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft went down. The plane”s final destination was supposed to be St. Louis, CBS News reported.
Police arrived at the crash site shortly after receiving a 911 call around 6:20 am and found the bodies of all three family members.
Debris could be seen strewn across a length of more than a football field that covers four yards. The aircraft came to rest in a wooded area after striking the ground, a gazebo, backyard shed, fence and several trees, NBC News reported.
No one on the ground was injured, the Upper Moreland Township Police said.
The plane hit several trees before it stopped, and the debris was spread across four backyards, said Upper Moreland Police Chief Michael Murphy said during a press briefing.
“It crashed into a yard and eventually continued on and hit several trees and a shed in a yard before coming to rest in the woods,” he said.
“It”s a strictly residential neighborhood. I don’t know what the pilot was thinking or what he was doing but it is a miracle that no homes were struck,” Murphy said.