Riverside, Calif., plane crash kills three

Screen capture: UPI/KCAL9

Feb. 28 (UPI) — Three people died and two were injured when a small plane crashed into homes near the Riverside, Calif., airport, fire officials said.

Although the crash of the Cessna 310 aircraft Monday afternoon started a fire that destroyed two homes, all the casualties were aboard the plane, Riverside Fire Chief Michael Moore said. Initial reports that a person on the ground died were erroneous, he said.

The plane crashed into the homes about half a mile from the airport, FAA spokesman Ian McGregor said. It struck one and crashed into another, with a fire consuming a third home.

The plane broke in half upon impact, ejecting one of the surviving passengers. Moore said she sustained minor injuries. Both survivors are women.

The plane was traveling to the San Jose area after its occupants attended a cheerleading event at Anaheim’s Disneyland, authorities said.

The block of 20 homes was evacuated, and two homes quickly burned to the ground after the plane’s fuel tank ignited. Debris from the crash was scattered in a one-half mile radius, Moore said. Residents of both homes were away at the time of the crash.

The victims were not identified. The crash will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

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