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At least two die after planes collide in California

Wreckage from a plane crash is seen at Watsonville Municipal Airport in Watsonville, Calif., on Aug. 18, 2022.

Wreckage from a plane crash is seen at Watsonville Municipal Airport in Watsonville, Calif., on Aug. 18, 2022. | Photo Credit: AP

Two planes collided in Northern California while trying to land at a local airport Thursday and at least two of the three occupants were killed, officials said.

The collision occurred at Watsonville Municipal Airport shortly before 3 p.m., according to a tweet from the city of Watsonville.

There were two people aboard a twin-engine Cessna 340 and only the pilot aboard a single-engine Cessna 152 during the crash, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Officials say multiple fatalities were reported but it was not immediately clear whether anyone survived.

The pilots were on their final approaches to the airport when the collision occurred, the FAA said in a statement. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board, which did not immediately have additional details, are investigating the crash.

No one on the ground was injured.

Photos and videos from the scene posted on social media showed the wreckage of one small plane in a grassy field by the airport. One picture showed a plume of smoke visible from a street near the airport.

A photo from the city of Watsonville showed damage to a small building at the airport, with firefighters on the scene.

The Watsonville Police Department referred calls to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, where a dispatcher had no information.

Watsonville, near the Monterey Bay, is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of San Francisco.

Two other pilots also were hurt in aircraft crashes elsewhere in California on Thursday.

A 65-year-old San Diego man received major but non-life threatening injuries when his single-engine plane crashed on a street near a busy freeway overpass in El Cajon, authorities said.

The plane reportedly struck an SUV but nobody on the ground was hurt in the city nearly 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of downtown San Diego.

Later, the pilot of an ultralight aircraft was critically injured when it crashed upside down on a building at the Camarillo Airport in Ventura County, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) from downtown Los Angeles.


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Printable version | Aug 19, 2022 6:24:27 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/planes-collide-in-california/article65787655.ece