Plane crash kills six in Washington suburb

The remains of a home are seen after a plane crashed into it in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in this handout photo provided by the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, on Dec 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
The remains of a home are seen after a plane crashed into it in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in this handout photo provided by the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service, on Dec 8, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A small jet airplane crashed on Monday into a residential neighbourhood near the US capital, killing six people.

The Embraer EMB-500 twin-engine jet was a mile (1.6km) away from Montgomery County Airport, preparing to land, when the accident occurred, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The three people aboard the plane and three people inside a house were killed when the plane went down, a county spokesman said on Twitter.

Debris from the plane hit several houses and ignited a large fire in the Washington-area suburb of Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Photos from the crash site showed the wreckage of a two-storey home, where an exterior wall was destroyed leaving charred wood and shattered glass.

Local media reported a mother and two young children were killed in their house.

Federal aircraft authorities were on the scene of the crash and are conducting an investigation into its cause.

The plane had departed from North Carolina earlier in the morning.