At least three people were killed and two others were injured after a small plane crashed into two Riverside, Calif., homes Monday afternoon, officials said.
The Cessna 310 aircraft carrying a family on their way home to San Jose crashed after taking off from Riverside Municipal Airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gergor said.
Officials said the crash occurred before 5 p.m. local time.
The husband, wife and three teenagers on board the plane were heading home after a cheerleading competition at Disneyland at the time of the crash. One of the teens, a girl, was thrown from the plane on impact but had only minor injuries, according to Riverside Fire Chief Michael Moore.
The teen crawled from the home asking for help, witnesses said, and was able to talk with firefighters about what happened before being taken to the hospital. She had been seated in the back of the aircraft, Moore said.
“Upon impact the plane pretty much split apart, and luckily she was ejected and has very minor injuries even though we’re treating her as a critical patient,” Moore told reporters Monday night.
He said first responders didn’t go into detail with the surviving teen on what may have caused the plane to crash.
“We’re reserving that for NTSB to have that interview with her,” Moore said.
“She was able to give us the most accurate information that there were five people on the plane,” he said.
Officials are now “actively searching” for victims.
“This is supposedly a happy time and then just to have a tragic incident like this,” Moore said. “It’s really just a sad, sad case for us.”
Riverside Police Lt. Charles Payne said the plane collided with two homes. At least one home was engulfed in flames and left nearly destroyed.
Residents nearby were being evacuated to a community center, Payne said.
Witness H.L. Reyes told the Daily News she saw ambulances carry three victims away from the scene. Their conditions weren’t immediately known.
“I thought it was a possible earthquake, and we heard all the birds just suddenly react outside, too,” Reyes said. “Every time an engine sputters, I’m afraid … This was just like a nightmare coming true.”
With News Wire Services