Tokyo plane crash: Three dead after small light aircraft crashes in suburb of Japanese capital

Three passengers pulled alive from the wreckage as light aircraft crashes shortly after take-off

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The Independent Online

A small plane has crashed into a Tokyo neighbourhood, killing the pilot, a passenger and a woman on the ground.

Three passengers were pulled alive from the wreckage after the single-propeller plane crashed in the Japanese capital, setting fire to cars and houses, earlier today.

Television footage showed the crashed plane with its tail upside down, resting on a residential lot as dozens of firefighters battled the blaze and treated casualties.

Tokyo Fire Department officials said the three dead suffered heart and lung failures.

Five other people, including the three passengers and two on the ground, were taken to hospital but their conditions were not immediately known.

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Five houses and two cars were set alight in the crash (AP)

The fire department said five houses and at least two cars had been set ablaze.

An unidentified woman told public broadcaster NHK: "I heard a tremendous sound like a truck crashed into a house.

“When I looked outside from a window, fire was flaring up.

"The fire was blazing up so hard.”

The plane crashed shortly after take-off from an airport used by small aircraft about 500 yards away in Tokyo's western suburb of Chofu.

It was flying to Izu Oshima Island, about 60 miles south of Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean, according to NHK.

Additional reporting by Reuters