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Plane Crashes Into Utah Neighborhood

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ROY, Utah - A pilot trying to land in heavy fog crashed in a neighborhood in a northern Utah city, causing an explosion that set two homes ablaze, police said.

The pilot was critically injured but no one on the ground was hurt. The Cessna 210 was landing at the Ogden-Hinckley Airport in Roy when it went down about 6 p.m. Sunday, police Sgt. Darin Calcut told The Associated Press.

"The runway was about three blocks away," Calcut said. "It was pretty heavy fog."

The pilot, identified as Clayton Roop, 46, of West Haven, was rushed to an area hospital then transferred to the University of Utah Hospital burn center, Calcut said. He is listed in critical but stable condition.

Roy City Fire Chief Jon Ritchie said the aircraft clipped a power line and crashed, causing a blast that started two nearby homes on fire. Officials said the fires had been extinguished. Pieces of the aircraft were scattered around the block, Calcut said.

Resident Gary Cox helped pull the pilot, who was alone, from the wreckage. Cox said he had burns on his hands and face, but he was coherent, KSL-TV reported.

Residents closest to the crash site were told to evacuate, and a shelter was set up at Roy High School, police said.

The Deseret News said 20 to 30 homes were evacuated but after a few houirs all had returned except for the residents of the fire-damaged homes. Rocky Mountain Power officials said the crash caused power outages that affected about 1,700 customers, though power was apparently restored to many later in the night.

Neighborhood resident Jennifer Kelly told the Tribune her home lost power just before 6 p.m. "That was followed about a second later by an orange flash - a huge orange flash. Another second later, a blue flash," Kelly said. "I ran across our front room, pulled back the curtains and could see flames shooting up through the pine trees over at (the neighbors') house."

Whinham said the aircraft was badly damaged but appeared to be a small, noncommercial plane. The cause of the crash had not yet been determined.

Roy is about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City. Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration have begun an investigation into the crash, according to a Roy Police Department press statement.

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