“At least two” people have been killed after a small plane crashed into a neighborhood in Santee, California, according to a city fire battalion chief. Justin Matsushita told local outlets that the plane hit the street at 12:14 p.m. Monday, sending at least two homes up in flames. Emergency personnel from “multiple” agencies, including a number from nearby San Diego, swarmed the scene seven minutes later. Several other homes were thought to be damaged by the crash as well, Matsushita said. He said that there have been “multiple confirmed fatalities,” though he did not confirm exactly how many. The cause of the crash is still unknown, as are the identities of those killed.
“It’s a pretty brutal scene for our guys, and we’re trying to comb through it,” Matsushita said, adding later that he believed that anyone who had been on the plane would have sustained “non-survivable injuries.” A statement from the Federal Aviation Authority identified the plane as a twin engine Cessna C340, a six-seater, though they did not confirm how many people had been onboard the aircraft. The plane was reportedly headed to Yuma, Arizona.
A witness told NBC San Diego that the plane hit the middle of the street, sliding down the road as a wing “sheared” into a nearby UPS truck. The status of the driver of the truck, a “neighborhood UPS guy” whom local residents knew by name, is unknown. Immediately after the crash, footage captured by people on the scene showed flames billowing out of a home on the corner of Greencastle and Jeremy Street. Two people, a couple named Phil and Maria, were rescued from the home by neighbors, according to NBC7. Maria was pulled out through a side window, her “hair singed” and face burned, her son told the outlet. Both Phil and Maria were conscious when they were transported to the hospital.