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PALOS HILLS, Ill. (AP) — Three people have died aboard a small plane that crashed on the only vacant lot in a dense Chicago suburb of single-family homes, authorities said Monday.

The twin-engine Beechcraft Baron crashed in the Chicago suburb of Palos Hills around 10:40 p.m. Sunday, shortly after takeoff from Chicago Midway Airport for Lawrence, Kansas, said Lynn Lunsford of the Federal Aviation Administration.

"There's only one empty lot in the whole neighborhood and that's where the plane came down," Palos Hills Deputy Police Chief James Boie told The Associated Press by telephone early Monday.

He said the plane had hit some trees but didn't strike any houses when it crashed, adding the wreckage was in a rather compact area.

"Some of the residents said they heard an airplane. It sounded like it was kind of sputtering and then it came down right away," Boie said. "It did come close to one of the houses."

He said he had no immediate identification of the victims, adding a medical examiner was at the site Monday morning. About two blocks all around had been cordoned off by authorities. But he said there was no fire at the time of the crash and no evacuation ordered, though some people were kept away from their homes after the crash.

Lunsford said in an earlier email that the FAA had sent a team to investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board had been notified.

Boie said planes from Midway often fly overhead, but he recalled no incident in recent memory of a small plane crash in the community southwest of downtown Chicago.

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