UPPER MORELAND TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) – A married couple and their daughter are dead following a small plane crash in Upper Moreland Township. The Beechcraft Bonanza plane crashed in the backyard of a residential area near Morris Road and Minnie Lane, around 6:15 a.m. Thursday. The NTSB says the plane was heading to The Ohio State University Airport in Columbus.
Upper Moreland Township Police say a man and two women aboard the private single-engine aircraft were killed. No one on the ground was injured.
The victims have been identified as 60-year-old Dr. Jasvir Khurana, his wife, 54-year-old Dr. Divya Khurana, and their daughter, 19-year-old Kiran Khurana.
The family is from the Penn Valley section of Lower Merion Township.
“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,” Upper Moreland Township Police Chief Mike Murphy said during a press briefing. “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 says no distress call was made prior to the plane crash.
Police are asking nearby residents for any possible surveillance video of the small plane.
The NTSB says the plane left Northeast Philadelphia Airport shortly after 6 a.m. and was heading to The Ohio State University Airport. The flight lasted for about three minutes before the plane went down. The plane’s final destination was supposed to be St. Louis.
Chris Crane tells Eyewitness News he heard a “thunderous bang” and his house shook when the small plane crashed in his neighbor’s backyard.
“I thank God that it missed our homes,” Crane said.
Crane added that there was a strong smell of fuel following the crash.
“When I walked outside all you could smell was fuel, no flames, no anything else, but the smell of fuel was strong,” Crane said.
“It sounded like the largest explosion I ever heard,” one man said.
Dr. Jasvir Khurana was a faculty member in the Department of Pathology at Temple University.
“Dr. Khurana has been a valued faculty member in the Department of Pathology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University since 2002. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones,” the university said in a statement.
His wife, Dr. Divya Khurana, was a doctor at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.
“[Divya] was loved by her patients and students alike. Her sudden passing has left a void in the hearts of all who knew and loved her,” St. Christopher’s said in a statement.
Faith Stander lives a few doors down from the Khuranas.
“They were just wonderful, lovely, sweet neighbors,” said Stander. “This is something today that hit really close to home.”
The family has one surviving daughter who was not on the plane.
CBS3’s Matt Petrillo and Greg Argos contributed to this report.