3 dead in California plane crash

Los Angeles, Feb 28 (IANS) Three persons were killed and two injured when a small plane crashed into a residential neighbourhood in California, authorities said.

The passengers were returning to San Jose city after a weekend cheerleading competition at Disneyland when the plane crashed in Riverside neighbourhood on Monday, setting two homes ablaze, Fire Chief Michael Moore said in a news conference.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. Moore initially said that four people had died in the crash, but later corrected the number to three, reported the Washington Post.

Two adult women in their late 30s were transported from the site of the crash to area hospitals for medical treatment. Authorities said that none of the residents of the damaged homes were injured in the crash.

The plane, a Cessna 310, crashed about a half-mile northeast of the Riverside Municipal Airport and had just taken off, airport manager Kim Ellis told the Orange County Register.

A witness saw the plane make a turn, then nosedive, the Orange County Register reported.

Neighbours said the crash felt like an earthquake that was followed by a “big orange ball of fire”.

The plane split as it rammed into the residential neighbourhood. The crash completely destroyed two homes, scorched a car, and scattered debris till at least a half mile away, according to the report.

The entire block – an estimated 20 houses on each side of the street – was evacuated for an investigation into the crash by the National Transportation Safety Board.

–IANS

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