(Reuters) - An executive jet crashed into a neighborhood near a Maryland airport on Monday, killing at least three people aboard the aircraft and setting several houses on fire, a fire department spokesman said.
The Embraer SA twin-engine Phenom 100 crashed into a home a mile (1.6 km) from the Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, a Washington suburb, county fire department spokesman Pete Piringer told a news conference.
At least three people aboard the plane, perhaps four, were killed, he said. Two homes were ablaze and three others were damaged as crews battled a jet fuel fire. Some fuel also had leaked into a stream.
A Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman said the plane went down on its way back to the airport.
Witnesses told local media that the plane had been circling overhead, with the wheels down, and looked as if it was struggling for control.
(Reporting by John Clarke in Washington; Editing by Susan Heavey and Eric Beech)