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Fake Plane Crash Fools Residents, Local Media

By Geoff Ziezulewicz | November 30, 2012 9:55am | Updated on November 30, 2012 10:24am

BRONZEVILLE — Some Chicagoans, including one local TV station, were duped by what looked like a small plane crash in the middle of South King Drive on Friday morning.

The plane crash turned out to be a prop being used for the filming an episode of "Chicago Fire" beginning around 8 a.m., but it looked real enough to many onlookers.

"I thought it was a plane crash, for real for real," said Anaisha Pearson, 14, who spotted the plane wreckage on the 3100 block of South King Drive.

Pearson was one of several Dunbar Career Academy students who saw the fake plane crash after exiting the bus on their way to school at 8:20 a.m.

Her classmate, 14-year-old Annyah Readus, feared the worst.

"I thought this was going to be the terrorist's revenge for killing Osama bin Laden," she said.

Wendy Mitchell, 43, said she knew about the show's filming. Mitchell, who lives in the 3100 block of South King Drive, was told by the "Chicago Fire" film crew to keep her car in the driveway for the day.

Local TV station WGN didn't get the same heads up.

WGN had its news chopper in the air over the fake crash and morning anchors Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten reported from their newsdesk as if it was the real thing, the Chicago Sun Times reported.

The Chicago Fire Media sent out a tweet just after 8 a.m. to clear up some of the confusion.

"Chicago TV News is reporting a plane down at 31 and King drive this is a filming for the NBC show Chicago Fire and is a simulation disregard," Chicago Fire tweeted.

The WGN morning crew was quick to poke fun of themselves once they realized their error.

"We don't call it #mustwatch for no reason. Another solid journalstic effort today," WGN tweeted out.