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Four people killed as plane crashes into Mississippi home

Authorities were not aware of any distress calls from the plane.

A SMALL PLANE crashed into a house in Mississippi, killing one of the home’s four occupants and three Texas residents who were flying to a university graduation ceremony, authorities said.

The National Transportation Safety Board said that an investigator was on the way to the scene in Hattiesburg, about 90 miles south-east of Mississippi capital Jackson, to investigate the crash, which caused a fire.

Authorities were not aware of any distress calls from the Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 but have yet to review air traffic recordings, agency spokesman Peter Knudson said.

Police and the coroner’s office identified the dead as Gerry Standley, 55, of Hattiesburg; and two adults and a toddler from Wichita Falls, Texas: Louis Provenza, 67, Anna Calhoun, 23, and Harper Provenza, two, news agencies reported.

Mr Standley worked full-time for a paving company and was assistant pastor at his church, according to a webpage to raise money for funeral expenses and the replacement of belongings lost to the fire.

His wife, Melinda, division manager for the police department’s 911 centre, their daughter Arrianna and grandson Eli all got out of the home with minor injuries, it said. The couple had celebrated their 22nd anniversary last month.

Mr Provenza was a neurosurgeon at United Regional Physician Group and a graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

“We are so very saddened about the loss of Dr Louis Provenza. He has touched the lives of so many and will be greatly missed,” the medical group said.

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Ms Calhoun was studying biology at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, said public relations director Julie Gaynor.

They were on their way to see a family member graduate from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, according to a message on the school’s website.

“My heart breaks for our student and her family, and for our community members and their family,” university president Rodney D Bennett said.

The plane had flown out of Wichita Falls and was preparing to land at Bobby L Chain Municipal Airport in Hattiesburg when it crashed.

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