Neighbors describe shock and confusion following plane crash - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Neighbors describe shock and confusion following plane crash

NTSB says debris could be spread over a wide area. (Source: WBRC) NTSB says debris could be spread over a wide area. (Source: WBRC)

The UPS plane that crashed Wednesday morningmissed houses by a matter of several hundred yards, and witnesses said theyinitially thought bombs were exploding. Many people had no idea a plane hadcrashed until minutes later when emergency crews started arriving.

Sarah and Alton Norris were asleep in theirBirmingham home when they said the windows in their house started shaking. "I don'tknow how many explosions there were, but I told him "let's get up, let's getour clothes on, let's get out of this house," said Sarah.

They walked outside and found many of theirneighbors asking the same question: What just happened?

The Norris' house sits about two blocks awayfrom the crash site. The couple said it isn't rare to see planes flying closelyoverhead, since they live just a half mile out from the airport. However, theynever thought a plane would go down so close to home.

"I didn't know what it was," said witnessEddie Smith. "I heard a sonic boom that shook the whole house. 15 minutes laterit shook again, and I looked out and could see the black smoke."

By noon, authorities blocked access to theneighborhood, allowing only local traffic as NTSB investigators combed throughthe wreckage. A Birmingham Police officer confirmed they had difficultyblocking off all the streets to the neighborhood because the wreckage site isso large, and they had limited numbers of officers and patrol cars.

Police are still staged in that neighborhood.The NTSB said some of the wreckage could still be in people's yards, on top ofhouses and scattered across a large area. Officials said they will be on-scenefor several days as the investigation continues.

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