Roads were closed in Orange County when a plane crashed in the parking lot of a local mall. The crash occurred around 12:38 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, and police were called shortly thereafter.
The plane, a twin-engine Cessna 414 Chancellor, crashed belly-down onto the pavement. It struck a parked car, but luckily the owner was inside shopping and was not hurt. No one on the ground was injured, though it is assumed many people saw and heard the accident occur.
According to Fox News, Fire Authority Captain Steve Concialdi reported that there were no injuries and the plane did not catch on fire.
However, five deaths were reported after the wreckage was thoroughly searched. Their identities have not been released, but it has been confirmed that they were all adults. The Federal Aviation Administration reported that a state of emergency was called before the plane crashed. It then slammed into the parking lot, killing everyone aboard.
In light of this tragic incident, many people are relieved that no-one else was hurt. With weekend shoppers about, it’s surprising that no-one else was injured or killed during the crash.
“I don’t know anything about what this pilot did or what he was thinking, but it could have been much more tragic,” Spokesman Tony Bommarito said according to ABC News. “This is a Sunday afternoon, and we have people shopping, so the fact that there are no injuries on the ground is a miracle in itself.”
A Cessna 414 aircraft declared an emergency and crashed into a mall parking lot near the the @JohnWayneAir in Santa Ana, CA today at 12:28 p.m. PDT. The #FAA will investigate and the @NTSB will determine the cause of the accident.
— The FAA (@FAANews) August 5, 2018
As said in the tweet above, the FAA is currently investigating the situation surrounding the tragedy. From there, the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause of the crash. The plane was heading for the John Wayne Airport, which is a few blocks from the crash site.
Before it could reach its destination, it crashed into a parking lot near South Coast Plaza. The parking lot is close to a mall and was likely full of shoppers at the time. So far, there are no recorded witnesses who have come forward about witnessing the accident.
The plane is registered to Category III, a real-estate company based in San Francisco. A phone call was placed to the company Sunday afternoon, but it was not returned. As of now, it is not publicly known where the plane originated or who it was carrying.
Currently, cleanup is underway. Crews are working to clear away the fuel spilled during the crash, and the streets are currently closed.