ShareThis Page
World

4 dead, 2 injured after plane hits houses in California

| Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, 12:27 a.m.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Four people died and two were injured when a small plane carrying a family returning from a cheerleading competition crashed into two Southern California homes and sparked a major fire Monday, authorities said.

A husband, wife and three teenagers were on the plane that had just taken off from Riverside Municipal Airport at 4:40 p.m. intending to return to San Jose after the weekend cheerleading event at Disneyland when it crashed in the residential neighborhood, Riverside Fire Chief Michael Moore said.

One of the teenagers, a girl, was thrown from the plane on impact but had only minor injuries, Moore said. Three witnesses told TV stations she crawled from the home asking for help. She was able to talk to firefighters about what had happened as she was taken to Riverside Community Hospital, Moore said.

Firefighters entered one of the burning houses and pulled out an unconscious resident. That victim is in surgery at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in San Bernardino, Moore said.

Four bodies were found in the combined wreckage of the plane and the homes, but firefighters have not sorted out exactly how many were passengers and how many were residents. They are looking for additional possible victims in the wreckage.

The two homes that were hit directly were destroyed, and there was minor damage to some neighboring houses, Moore said.

The plane was broken into hundreds of pieces, its propeller sitting on the roof of a nearby home, and the fire burning with jet fuel was still ablaze several hours after the crash.

H.L. Reyes, who lives about a quarter-mile from the crash site, told The Associated Press she felt the ground shake and saw plumes of black smoke.

“I thought it was a possible earthquake, and we heard all the birds just suddenly react outside, too,” Reyes said. “This was just like a nightmare coming true.”

Shannon Flores, a teacher at an elementary school about three blocks away, said she saw the plane out her classroom window. She said it was raining during the crash, though other witnesses said the rain was very light.

“As soon as we saw it fly over, we knew it wasn't a good thing,” Flores told KABC-TV. “We watched it go down very quickly ... Before we knew it, there was a loud crash

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me