Plane crash kills at least two after plane hits homes in Santee, Calif.


“We have several confirmed deaths, we don’t know exactly how many,” Justin Matsushita, deputy fire chief for the city of Santee, said in a briefing for reporters. “We know there are at least two confirmed.”

Emergency responders search for casualties as they determine the extent of damage to homes, he said.

“Not to be too graphic, but it’s a pretty brutal scene for our guys, and we’re trying to comb it through,” Matsushita said.

Two homes in a Santee neighborhood in San Diego County were hit by the plane and two or three others were damaged. The scene was still smoldering a few hours after the accident.

It is not known how many people were on board the Cessna 340A. “We believe that the injuries will not outlive anyone on board,” Matsushita said.

Several vehicles, including a box truck, were on fire when emergency teams arrived at the scene, officials said. Debris is strewn around a residential building and power has been cut to about 10 homes in the area as investigators assess the damage.

Video recorded by OnScene.TV shows a badly burnt UPS truck.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Cessna 340 crashed at around 12:14 p.m. PT.

The San Diego County Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Department responded to the accident, which happened near a high school. Santana High School tweeted that all students are safe and the incident happened a few blocks away.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents to stay away from the area.

The Red Cross has set up a temporary shelter for residents of the neighborhood who have been displaced by the incident.

The FAA said it would release the plane’s tail number after investigators verified it at the crash site.

“The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and provide additional updates. Neither agency is identifying those involved in plane crashes.”

Santee is approximately 20 miles east of San Diego.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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