2 people dead after Christmas Day plane crash in Sioux Falls

The plane went down in a residential neighborhood just after 5 p.m.
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Plane crash in Sioux Falls, SD, 12/25/18.

Photo by Joe Zweifel. 

Authorities in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, have confirmed that at least two people died in a Christmas Day plane crash in a local residential area.

It was initially thought that only one person had died, but that changed with a police briefing on Wednesday morning. 

The small plane went down in a backyard on the southeast side of the city early Tuesday evening, damaging four homes, the Star Tribune reported. 

The paper says two homes received damage so extensive they were left "uninhabitable."

One neighbor told the Argus Leader the crash "felt like a cement truck racing down the street and then, boom," while another said he "thought a house exploded." 

The paper says one of the fatalities is believed to be that of the pilot; however, it's unclear how many people were aboard the plane at the time. 

Authorities have not confirmed the identities of the deceased yet.

The crash is now under investigation, but one thing that may make the release of information difficult is the partial federal government shutdown.

According to Keloland News reporter Michael Geheren, the Federal Aviation Administration has said it's unable to respond to media questions "due to the lapse in government funding":

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