Officials say one person died when a single-engine airplane crashed in a backyard in a South Dakota city, leading to the evacuation of four homes.

Sioux Falls Emergency Manager Regan Smith told reporters that the person who died was on the plane when it crashed in Sioux Falls around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Smith says the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to investigate the crash site starting Wednesday.

‘We’re still investigating, there may be more fatalities to come,’ Smith asserted.

The person who died in Tuesday evening's crash in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was believed to be an occupant of the aircraft
The person who died in Tuesday evening’s crash in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was believed to be an occupant of the aircraft

The exact number of people in the plane and homes wasn’t immediately clear. Grace Chinn, who lives near an affected home, says the crash ‘shook our whole house.’

Jim Lang, who lives nearby, says he felt the ground shake and heard what sounded like a vehicle accelerating rapidly. He looked out his window and saw “a yellow ball of fire.”

Smith says two homes suffered significant damage and two more were affected by debris. He wasn’t able to say if all the houses were occupied when the crash occurred.

Many in the area rushed to the scene to see if any of the families needed any help
Many in the area rushed to the scene to see if any of the families needed any help

Max Jamison, a local resident in the area, shared that he rushed to the area of the explosion to see if anyone needed any assistance. 

‘Many many neighbors out to help and flames as high as the home in the picture,’ he added on Twitter. ‘Sounded like a plane did a “nose dive” into the ground. Not much more info than that.’  

Joe Harris, who was with his parents for the holidays, also rushed to the scene to help. 

‘I was at Christmas gathering with my parents when we heard the explosion and saw the fire,’ he said. ‘We ran about 3 blocks to the site.’

The National Transportation Safety Board has been called to the area to investigate the crash. Smith said that he expects to team to reach Sioux Falls by Wednesday. 

Source: The Associated Press