At least two people were killed and two injured after a small plane crashed into several homes and vehicles in a suburban area of Southern California on Monday, officials said.
The accident happened shortly after noon in the town of Santee, about 20 miles northeast of downtown San Diego, Fire Chief John Garlow told U.S. TODAY.
The plane, a two-engine Cessna 340, hit several homes and several vehicles, including oneUPS truckthat was “severely damaged,” Garlow said. Three homes had “major damage,” and two were completely burned, he said.
At least two people died and two others were taken to hospital with burn injuries, Deputy Fire Chief Justin Matsushita told reporters. More victims were possible, he said.
“It’s a pretty brutal scene,” Matsushita said.
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It was not immediately clear if the UPS driver wasamong the dead or wounded, officials said.
It was also unclear if anyone was inside the damaged homes, Garlow said. The sheriff’s department also checked inside nearby homes, he said.
Jennifer Ward told the USA TODAY that she was sitting at home watching a movie when she felt the house shaking.
“I thought a tree was falling on my house, and then I ran outside and saw all the black smoke,” Ward said. The plane crashed down a street from her. Ward said she drove along the road “several times a day.”
The plane crashed between Wards House and nearby Santana High School. Students at Santana temporarily went into safe places and were later released.
“All the kids at school were really scared because they did not know what was going on and the school was shaking too,” said Ward, whose 15-year-old son attends Santana.
Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigated.
The American Red Cross in Southern California set up a temporary evacuation center at a nearby YMCA.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of those we lost in today’s plane crash,” said the Sheriff’s Department in San Diego. said on Twitter.
Santee has seen other plane crashes in recent years, Garlow said. A crash in a commercial area in 2015 killed a pilot, he said. Another crash 10 years ago in a residential area also killed a pilot, he said.