updated 10/15/2004 5:12:01 AM ET 2004-10-15T09:12:01

A small jet with no passengers went down in a residential area of eastern Jefferson City, damaging a building, authorities said.

Only the pilot and co-pilot were aboard the CRJ2, a two-engine regional jet that could seat up to 50 people, Jefferson City police Capt. Michael Smith said. The plane was operated by Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines, a regional carrier affiliated with Northwest Airlines, Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhouch said.

There was no immediate information about injuries, either to anyone in the plane or on the ground in the neighborhood just north of U.S. 50 a few miles east of downtown. The plane damaged a building, but Smith said early Friday morning that the structure was not believed to be a house.

“As of yet, we have recovered no bodies,” Smith said.

Neither major hospital in the city reported receiving victims from the crash.

Smith said the plane was apparently experiencing engine problems when it went down after 10 p.m. Thursday night.

Smith said the plane had left from Little Rock, Ark., and was heading to Minneapolis-St. Paul. The pilot and co-pilot were returning the plane to Minneapolis when they tried make an emergency landing at an airport near Jefferson City, Ebenhouch said.

Police evacuated a roughly three-block area near the crash site and weren’t allowing any vehicles near the area, Smith said. U.S. 50 remained open.

“One aircraft engine was along the road. There was some debris in a tree, and a burned area,” Smith said. “You could still smell the fuel.”

The National Transportation Safety Board and Pinnacle were sending people to the crash site.

Amanda Clemons, 24, said she heard the plane crash and could see the site from her Jefferson City apartment.

“I felt the apartment shake. I thought it was thunder at first, and then maybe an earthquake,” Clemons said in a telephone interview.

Also Thursday, a small plane crashed near some townhouses in the south Chicago suburb of Joliet, Ill., killing the pilot, police said. No one on the ground was injured.

The plane took off from the Joliet Regional Airport just before 8 p.m., but turned around a short time later and tried to land, officer Chris Gombosi said.

“It sounded like a car wreck,” said Rick Klett, who said he was in his garage across the street from the crash, which occurred a few hundred feet from the subdivision.

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