Small Plane Crashes Into California Hangar During Departure, 3 People Die

(Photo by Pascal Pavani/AFP via Getty Images)

Kate Hirzel Contributor
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A plane crash at a California airport Sunday morning resulted in the loss of three lives and caused a massive fire that consumed an aircraft hangar.

A single-engine Beechcraft P35 crashed during its departure while carrying the pilot and two passengers onboard, reported KTLA. San Bernardino County Fire Department (SBCFD) was dispatched after receiving reports of a structure fire around 6:40 a.m. The Ontario Police Department (OPD) uses the aircraft hanger to house its air support units, but none of the police vehicles were damaged during the incident.

A local resident, disturbed by the crash, rushed to the scene and recognized the engulfed hanger belonging to a flight training school. “I heard a very loud noise, sounded like a truck hit a building,” the neighbor told KTLA. “I haven’t had a chance to look at the scene yet, but I talk to these flight students all the time…I’m worried that I might know some of the people.”

“My dad flies out of Apple Valley Airport and lands here all the time, and we do occasionally see people come up short and a couple crashes here,” he continued. “But nothing this bad, ever. This is really, really bad.” (RELATED: Four Killed In Separate Crashes At Air Show, Including Super Bowl Champ’s Daughter)

Fire crews acted quickly and extinguished the flames in just over fifteen minutes. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have initiated an investigation into the incident, reported the local outlet.

The recent plane crash is the third such incident in the area this month. On July 4, a tragic accident claimed the life of the pilot of a Cessna Skyhawk, while three others were injured when the plane crashed and flipped a short distance from the airport, reported Press Enterprise. Four days later, another devastating crash occurred involving a Cessna C550 business jet, which led to the loss of all six occupants as the aircraft caught fire near the airport runway.