A small plane broke apart in flight Wednesday, narrowly missing homes before crashing in the woods and killing four people on board, witnesses and authorities said.
Debris rained on houses and yards as the single-engine Piper dropped out of the clouds, passing over a major beach-access road before crashing. Nobody on the ground was hurt.
The victims - two men and two women - were found strapped in their seats.
Paul Denet said that six pieces of the plane fell in his yard and that a wing was floating in the lagoon behind his house.
Carla Gallo, co-owner of a gift shop in the neighborhood, said she heard a whining sound and then a big pop.
"You just saw all these yellow and white pieces falling," Gallo said. "We didn't see the big part of the plane. We just saw the little pieces."
The plane was registered to Aviron Aviation LLC in North Plainfield, according to Jim Peters, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
Phone listings for the company could not immediately be found.
Stafford Township is about 40 miles north of Atlantic City.
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