Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Five people killed after small plane crashes in California

Five people killed after small plane crashes in California

This photo provided by Eddie Ponsdomenech shows a twin-engine aircraft crashed near the South Coast Plaza shopping center in Santa Ana, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018.

A small plane crashed in the parking lot of a mall in the USA state of California, killing all five people on board.

The driver of a auto struck by the aircraft was shopping inside Staples at the time, according to O.C. Fire Authority.

"The plane looks like it came nearly straight down into the ground". "There is a small debris field".

The 1973 Cessna 414 was registered to Category III Aviation San Francisco company and had flown from the San Francisco Bay area suburb of Concord, according to FAA records.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Salac says the twin-engine plane declared an emergency Sunday before crashing about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from Orange County's John Wayne Airport.

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The crash site is just north of the popular South Coast Plaza shopping mall and a few blocks northwest of John Wayne Airport.

The death toll originally was believed to be three, but was upped to five as firefighters examined the crash. At least one vehicle on the ground was hit by airplane parts.

According to O.C. Fire Authority, a group of firefighters having lunch across the street jumped on their truck and rushed to the scene after one of them heard screaming.

"I don't know anything about what this pilot did, or what he was thinking, but it could have been much more tragic", Bommarito said.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash. The pilot and all four passengers were killed.

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