Local News

Raleigh Homeowner Describes Plane Crash

Posted December 13, 2001

— Donald Long Sr., 70, was in his house on Stone Horse Circle Wednesday night when a single-engine plane headed for RDU International

crashed into it

.

"So I had gone into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator door to get a steak out and all hell broke loose. The plane hit and it exploded and what I saw was my kitchen cabinets going all the way across the room and the counters and everything else, followed by a big fireball," he said.

"The explosion was sort of like, is this hell? Has someone dropped a bomb on me or what? Because the whole house just came apart. It didn't creep up. It was just bam, and the whole thing was the plane," Long said.

The pilot of the plane and two passengers died in the crash. Long suffered first-degree burns; his house was destroyed.

"[The fire] was up over the trees in two minutes. The whole place, every single part of it, was on fire," he said.

The semi-retired builder knows he is lucky despite losing everything he had.

"It's just plain horrible. I don't know any other way to say it. The only thing I got out is me," he said.

A nearby vehicle was also destroyed and some of the surrounding homes sustained minor damage. Long said he plans to live with his son. Federal investigators are working to determine the cause of the crash.

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