No injuries after small jet slides off runway at Chicago Executive Airport, crashes into light pole

No one was injured Wednesday night when a small jet slid off a runway at Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling and began leaking fuel.

The Learjet went off the end of Runway 30 about 11 p.m., pushing through a fence and damaging at least one light, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said in an email.

Firefighters found the plane in the grass with a wing protruding through a fence near Wolf Road, Wheeling Fire Dept. Chief Michael McGreal said in a statement.

The jet was leaking from a wing fuel tank that had been damaged by a fence pole, McGreal said. It was quickly plugged by firefighters.

Seven passengers and two pilots safely exited the plane, he said.

The FAA hasn’t determined a cause of the crash, but it was raining in the Chicago area at the time.

The runway was reopened at 8:30 a.m. Thursday after the plane damaged some grass, a fence and crashed into a 3-foot-tall runway light, airport executive director Jamie Abbott said.

The incident comes less than two days after a fatal plane crash in south suburban Ford Heights. A 70-year-old man piloting a single-engine plane crash landed on a ramp at Illinois 394 to Lincoln Highway, authorities said. His plane struck a light pole and a vehicle before stopping on an embankment. The cause of the crash was unclear.

In September, a vehicle crash spilled into the airport in Wheeling, leaving two men dead. A box truck went through a stop sign at Wolf Road and Messner Drive and struck an SUV in the intersection, causing both vehicles to enter airport property and ejecting one man onto a taxiway, where he died.