Santa Ana plane crash: Five dead as plane hits vehicle park

Costa Mesa Mall Plane Crash

According to the FAA, the pilot of the aircraft, which is registered to a San Franciso corportation, declared a Mayday shortly before the crash. Ghanadan, the 29-year-old victim, worked as a real estate consultant who lived in the Bay Area, KTLA reported. Several streets surrounding a nearby shopping center and the South Coast Plaza mall are closed.

Fire authorities were called about the crash around 12:30 p.m. local time.

Witnesses said they saw the plane turn before it suddenly began to dive toward the shopping center.

Capt. Tony Bommarito of the Orange County Fire Authority said the accident could have been much worse. Video taken by people on the ground and posted on social media shows a crumpled airplane with two broken sections and at least one body outside the aircraft.

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It was not clear if anyone was hurt on the ground, as the plane went down and hit at least one unoccupied auto, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi told City News Service. A parked auto was destroyed when the aircraft went down outside a busy shopping center, but the vehicle was unoccupied at the time, the AP reported.

"We looked up to see the plane falling nose first", she told the Times. The agency will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause of the accident, the FAA said in a tweet.

Five people have died after a light plane crashed into a carpark in Southern California.

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