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Victims’ Conditions Upgraded After Plane Crash

Lloyd and Maureen McKee

Lloyd and Maureen McKee were seriously injured when their small plane crashed into a fitness center in Naperville on Oct. 6, 2010 (Credit: Naperville Sun)

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (CBS) - A man and woman whose plane crashed into the XSport Fitness Center in Naperville remain hospitalized, but their conditions have been upgraded.

Pilot Lloyd McKee, 66, and his wife Maureen, 63, were rescued from inside of the building after the accident on Wednesday. On Friday morning, their condition was upgraded from serious to fair at Edward Hospital in Naperville, according to hospital officials.

They were said to have cuts, bruises, scrapes and fractures, but nothing life-threatening, Naperville Police Cmdr. Mike Anders said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the gym is back open. It reopened Thursday morning, less than 24 hours after the small plane hit the structure, according to the Naperville Sun.

The single-engine Piper 32 plane crashed into a top-floor basketball court on Wednesday. The basketball court is in a cupola of the structure at 2780 Fitness Dr., near the intersection of Illinois 59 and 75th Street, in Naperville.

The court was empty at the time.

The McKees live in Aero Estates, a subdivision built around a private airstrip that sits a few hundred feet south of XSport Fitness.

The McKees took off from Aero Estates headed to Pittsburgh, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. According to officials there, the couple has declined to speak to the press for the duration of their hospital stay.

Early Thursday morning, crews removed the wreckage from the building. Pieces of the plane had broken up on impact and lodged in the walls. Once removed, the wreckage was loaded onto trucks and carted away.

Mitch Gallo, investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said the wreck was taken to a secure location, where it will be examined.

Gallo said the NTSB looks at three areas when determining cause: man, machine and environment. He said he expects a preliminary report on the crash to be released within the next few days.

XSport Fitness reopened Thursday morning, and repairs to the building are expected to be completed in the next two to three weeks, according to company Vice President Dennis Pierro. Though the top-floor basketball court remained closed, the rest of the center was open for members to use.

Pierro said the crash caused no structural damage to the building, and though he didn’t have an estimate of damages, he said they were “not substantial.”

“That couple has to be the luckiest people on the planet,” he said. “They hit a soft part of the building, and they survived.”

Since the crash, there has been much speculation over whether the XSport Fitness building is too close to the airstrip. It is up to the city of Naperville to ensure that developments near Aero Estates will not present an issue for planes flying in and out of the airport.

The Naperville Sun contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.