At least two people were killed when two planes collided while trying to land at an airport in Northern California Thursday afternoon, officials said.
The planes, a twin-engine Cessna 340 and a single-engine Cessna 152, crashed into one another just before 3 p.m. above Watsonville Municipal Airport, according to city officials.
The two aircrafts carried a combined total of three people, but it’s unclear if there were any survivors.
Two people were onboard the Cessna 340, which veered into the wing of the Cessna 152, sending the smaller plane crashing into the edge of the airfield, according to the Federal Aviation Agency and a witness.
The deadly crash occured as the two planes were about 200 feet in the air, Franky Herrera, who was driving by the airport at the time of the crash, told the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
“The smaller plane just spiraled down and crashed,” Herrera, an off-duty officer, said.
The plane landed about 100 feet from houses, according to the local outlet. First responders placed a tarp over the aircraft’s smashed cockpit.
Herrera said the larger plan continued its descent, but “was struggling.” Then he saw a burst of flames from the other side of the airport.
A photo of the crash’s aftermath shared by the city shows a building with its exterior wall caved in as plane parts lay inside. Another photo shows the mangled wreck of a small plane in a grassy field.
No injuries were reported to people on the ground.
The city-owned airport, which has four runways and is home to more than 300 aircrafts, handles more than 55,000 operations a year — mostly recreational or agricultural businesses. It also doesn’t have a control tower to direct pilots coming and going.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
The collision is the third plane crash in which people were injured across California on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, a 65-year-old San Diego man was seriously injured when his single-engine plane crashed on a street and struck an SUV near a busy freeway overpass in El Cajon, authorities said. The pilot’s injuries are not life-threatening and no one on the ground was hurt.
Later, an ultralight aircraft crashed upside down on a building at the Camarillo Airport in Ventura County. The pilot was critically injured.
With Post wires
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