Six construction workers returning home at the end of a work week were killed when their twin-engine plane crashed into a cornfield.
Witness John Ridder said the engines fell silent and the plane belly-flopped into the field Thursday.
"I kept hollering, 'Pull it out, pull it out, pull it out!' " said Ridder, 74. "About 100 feet off the ground it just leveled, it just dropped right straight down flat. . . . No nose dive or anything, just flat -- just a big pop."
The six men worked for Charlie Ross & Sons, a construction company based in Malden, Mo., said Pat Martin, an employee of the firm and a relative of some of the victims.
The flight was going from Macomb to Sikeston, Mo., 30 miles northeast of Malden, said Tanya Wagner, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman.
The workers, all from Missouri, had been installing telephone cable in Illinois for the last two months and regularly flew home on Thursdays, Martin said.