At least two houses were destroyed and multiple others damaged after a Cessna 340 crashed in the city of Santee near San Diego, California.
According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, two fatalities are confirmed. One of them is the driver of a UPS truck that has been hit by the plane. Two more people were transported to the hospital.
Local media reports that the aircraft was preparing to land at Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (MYF), around noon on October 11, 2021. It crashed less than one kilometer from the runway.
According to Aviation Safety Network, the aircraft – a Cessna 340A, registered N7022G – belonged to Samarth Aviation LLC and departed from Yuma International Airport (YUM).
An unconfirmed recording of an air traffic controller (ATC) and the pilot of the aircraft was obtained by KGTV, a local TV channel. According to the recording, the ATC issued multiple low-altitude warnings and urged the pilot to climb to 5,000 feet right before the crash.
KGTV also posted what appears to be a security camera recording showing an aircraft plunging into the suburb and erupting in flames.
The crash happened about 12:15 p.m. local time (19:15 UTC), a United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) official interviewed by the Los Angeles Times said. According to him, the cause of the crash is unknown. The FAA National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, as of the late evening of October 11, 2021, the fire that completely consumed two houses has been extinguished, but adjacent streets remain closed for traffic, and the neighborhood remained without power due to a destroyed transformer station.