LOS ANGELES (NYTIMES) - A small plane crashed in the parking lot of a strip mall outside of Anaheim, California, on Sunday (Aug 5), killing all five people on board, the authorities said.
The plane was en route to nearby John Wayne Airport when the pilot declared an emergency and crashed around 12:30 pm local time in Santa Ana, near the South Coast Plaza shopping mall, the authorities said.
It crashed in a parking lot for Staples, a CVS pharmacy and other retailers, said Captain Tony Bommarito of the Orange County Fire Authority. The plane struck a parked car but no one on the ground was injured, he said.
Emma Gonzales, who works at the Buffalo Wild Wings in the strip mall, said she felt the building shake. "You just felt the ground move," she said.
Another witness told local news media that he was coming out of a sushi restaurant when he saw the plane flying low.
Referring to the pilot, Bommarito said: "If he did do anything that prevented him from going anywhere else that was more crowded, he did a great job. Unfortunately, it was tragic that five people died on the plane."
The identities of the victims were not immediately available.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the crash.