By: Kyle James | 12-09-2017 | News
Photo credit: @denisescatena | Twitter

Plane Crashes Into California Home Killing 2 Passengers

A horrific crash enfolded Saturday when a single-engine plane with four passengers crashed into a Clairemont home and erupted in flames. Two passengers survived the crash while two were killed and the home burned to the ground with the rest of the plane.

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: Hayne Palmour IV/ San Diego Union Tribune</span>

The fatal crash occurred around 4:35 p.m. when Beech B36 Bonanza made a crash landing in the baseball field of Lafayette Elementary School. The plane ground to a halt when it collided into the back of a home on Chandler Drive where it burst into flames.

Residents say a family with a baby are the current renters of the home that was destroyed but were thankfully not home at the time of the crash. The families two dogs, however, were not so lucky and perished inside the house according to authorities.

The Beech B36 Bonanza is a six-seat plane and it took off from Montgomery Field about a half-mile from where it crashed minutes later. The San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Brian Fennessy said the pilot radioed an engine failure and reported he would attempt to land back at the airport.

By the looks of the crash, investigators were able to determine the pilot had tried to land the plane in the open space of the schoolyard and park. The plane impacted the ground upright and traveled 100 to 200 yards, plowing through a fence and ultimately smashing into the home.

50 officers responded to the crash site to help evacuate residents if the need arose according to Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman. Police who arrived witnessed a man and woman walking away from the fire and realized they were crash victims. Paramedics assisted the two victims who survived, the pilot and a passenger.

The planes tail number burned up and there has been no information released regarding the names of the victims. Firefighters put out the blaze within about 25 minutes. Witnesses described hearing the plane's engine stutter and then turn, "like it was trying to get wind underneath its wings."

The man who lives next door to the house that was destroyed described hearing a "big explosion" that he thought was a propane barbecue exploding. "All of a sudden, I see a big fire coming toward my house," he said. He ran toward the fireball and helped break the windows but didn't hear any cries for help or screaming.

The FAA and National Transportation and Safety Board will handle the investigation into the cause of the crash.

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