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Six Confirmed Dead In Gaithersburg Plane Crash

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WJZ) -- Six people are confirmed dead after a small, private jet crashed into a Gaithersburg, Md. neighborhood, damaging several homes in the area.

Mike Hellgren has the latest.

The people who died inside the house include a three-year-old and a baby, and a woman in the home, their mother, Marie Gemmell. The father and a third child are safe. The children were identified as Cole Gemmell, 3, and Devon Gemmell, who was a month and a half.

Three people also died on the plane. One of those dead is the CEO of North Carolina company Health Decisions, Michael Rosenberg. The company called the deaths "devastating."

Investigators worked into the night Monday.

Video shot by witnesses shows the chaotic scene in Gaithersburg. Those who were nearby knew the aircraft was in trouble.

The crash happened in the 19700 block Drop Forge Lane off Snouffer School Road around 11 a.m. less than a mile from a Montgomery County airpark. It caused a fire at two homes, according to Montgomery County Fire & Rescue officials. The fire is under control.

Investigators are looking at every aspect of this crash to determine how it happened.

"We want to make sure that something like this never happens again. This is why we are here," said an NTSB official.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration the small, twin-engine jet was approaching Runway 14 at the airpark when the accident occurred.

"There was a big boom. My house shook," said Jocelyn Brown.

The small twin-engine jet was trying to land.

Montgomery County police will investigate the deaths of the people inside the home; the NTSB will handle the deaths of those on the plane.

"Its flying was very erratic," said a witness. "A lot of up and down, left and right...overcompensation over overcompensation."

The search of the home was difficult and lasted for hours.

"This is a tragic loss for the Montgomery County community," said an official.

The jet fuel caught two homes on fire and damaged a third. Pieces of the plane were scattered all over the cul de sac.

"You could tell there was something wrong with the plane. It couldn't fly in a straight pattern," said Randall Hyman.

The black box from the plane has been recovered. The investigation is expected to be lengthy.

The mother and the young children were found on the second floor of the house. The cause of the crash is unknown and the NTSB will be looking at the weather, the pilot and air traffic control. The investigation will take months.

Christie Ileto has more on the investigation and reactions.

There were terrifying moments seconds after a plane ripped into Marie Gemmel's Gaithersburg home, trapping the 36-year-old mom, three-year-old son and newborn in their upstairs bathroom.

"It's really sad, a mother staying home on maternity leave and losing her life," said Elizabeth Moorthy.

Moorthy heard the plane seconds before it crashed.

"We came out and then my daughter saw the flames," Moorthy said. "My daughter said, `Call 911; it's a fire.'"

Residents spent the next 12 hours watching the horror unfold before their very eyes.

"To hear that she and her kids passed just continue to pray," said one.

Drop Forge Lane is less than a mile and a half from the airpark. Residents say that low-flying planes are common.

The NTSB says both the pilot and two passengers died on impact.

Still, it's the disbelief that has neighbors trying to make sense of what happened and the painful reminder sitting in the cul-de-sac.

A Gofundme page has been set up for the family. Click here to contribute.

Stay with WJZ for the latest on this developing story.

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