A private airplane carrying a family crashed into a pair of Riverside, California, homes Monday afternoon, killing four people and injuring at least two others.
Riverside Fire Chief Michael Moore told the Associated Press that the airplane was carrying a husband, wife, and three teenagers. Authorities were able to get some information early in their investigation because one of the teenagers, a female, was thrown from the aircraft on impact and received only minor injuries. Witnesses said the girl crawled out from one of the damaged homes asking for help.
The airplane had departed Riverside Municipal Airport at 4:40 p.m. bound for San Jose. The family had spent the weekend at a cheerleading competition at Disneyland and was returning home.
The other injured person was a resident of one of the homes. The AP reported that Riverside firefighters entered one of the homes that was damaged and set ablaze by the crash and pulled out an unconscious occupant. That person was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in San Bernardino and was undergoing emergency surgery Monday evening.
Authorities said Monday evening that additional injuries and fatalities were possible. Firefighters were searching the wrecked homes for additional people Monday night.
The two homes hit directly by the airplane were destroyed and some of the surrounding homes received minor damage, fire officials told the AP.
The airplane reportedly smashed into “hundreds of pieces,” the AP reported, and the propeller was found on the roof of a home near the crash site.
Shannon Flores, who teaches elementary school three blocks from where the airplane crashed, told the AP that she and others saw the place from the classroom window. She said they knew something was wrong as it flew past and then they watched as the plane went down “very quickly.” Another witness told the AP they thought an earthquake was underway when they heard and felt the impact.
Source: Associated Press