San Diego: Four Die After Small Planes Collide In Mid Air

In a tragic accident, four people were killed near San Diego after two small planes they were traveling in collided in mid air. According to the Los Angeles Times, the accident happened near Otay Mesa located east of San Diego, close to the Mexican border. According to preliminary reports, both the planes were attempting to land at the Brown Field Municipal Airport when they collided in mid air. The planes involved in the collision were a twin-engined Sabreliner and a single-engine Cessna 172, initial reports say. There were no survivors. Brown Field is located just 13 miles from downtown San Diego and is a general aviaton airport that sees heavy traffic. Several private, corporate, charter, and government aircraft regularly land and take off from the field on a daily basis. It was developed as a reliever facility to the nearby Lindbergh International Airport and boasts of two runways.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not revealed the cause of the mishap and has ordered an inquiry to ascertain the same. The accident happened at around 11 a.m., local time, according to CNN.

The wreckage from the two planes were found in two separate locations spread a quarter of a mile apart. According to Nick Schuler, division chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the planes broke into “multiple pieces,” following the deadly collision. The falling debris also caused a two-acre bushfire near a highway. Fire officials were able to quickly put it out.

The first law enforcement officer to reach the scene of the crash was a California Highway Patrol officer who informed his colleagues about debris being scattered everywhere in the area. Following his arival, personnel from the Cal Fire, the San Diego Fire & Rescue Department, and the Chula Vista Fire Department responded to the scene. It quickly became clear that there were no survivors in the crash. Meanwhile an officer from the Chula Vista Fire Department was hospitalized as the temperature in the area rose above 100 degrees at the time of the rescue operations.

The investigation is currently on to determine if there were any other people on board the planes apart from the four known people who were on the two aircraft. Officials from the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation. The identities of the people who perished in the mid-air collision has not been released.

[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]

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