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Small plane crashes in Connecticut, injuring three people

(Reuters) - A small, twin-engine plane crashed on Tuesday afternoon in the downtown business district of East Hartford, Connecticut, injuring at least three people, police said.

Two people were aboard the plane at the time of the crash, one of whom was taken to an area hospital in an unknown condition and the other who remains unaccounted for, East Hartford Police Lieutenant Timothy Juergens said by phone.

Juergens said two people who were on the ground when the plane crashed around 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT) were also injured and taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

"The area is very busy at that time of day and it missed everything. It's a miracle that more people weren't injured or killed," Juergens said.

Local broadcaster WFSB reported the plane was "in pieces," and that wires and telephone poles had been knocked down in the area. Photos published by the broadcaster showed flames and black smoke shooting from the wreckage as bystanders gawked at the debris.

Juergens said the plane departed from Hartford-Brainard Airport and was likely attempting to return when it crashed. He said the Federal Aviation Administration would investigate the crash.

Further details were not immediately available.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Peter Cooney and Alan Crosby)