Aircraft crashes east of San Diego


An aircraft crashed east of San Diego, possibly striking one home after hitting a power line, authorities said.
According to San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. Mike Krugh, the crash was reported at about 7:15 p.m. PST, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The crash occurred about two miles east of the Gillespie Field airport in El Cajon, the newspaper reported.
Lakeside Fire District officials said it did not immediately appear that anyone on board the plane survived the crash, KGTV-TV reported. LFD added that no injuries were reported by residents or anyone in the area at the time of the crash.
According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the plane was a Learjet 35, although it was unclear how many people were on board, KGTV-TV reported.
In a live stream provided by a Facebook user, cars were seen on fire in front of a home in El Cajon and debris littered the street as crews arrived on the scene, KFMB-TV reported.
It was not immediately clear if there were any residents hurt in the crash, or whether anyone on board was hurt, the television station reported.
Lakeside resident Suzie Mercadante was outside walking her dogs when she saw “a blue streak and then a giant, big orange ball,” the Union-Tribune reported. Mercadante then said she saw “the blackest smoke just billowing out
We were outside and basically, we heard the plane getting closer. Normally they get loud because we live right by the airport, but it got really, really loud and all of the sudden, we think it could’ve hit our power lines above our house, but we just saw bright blue and orange flashing lights and we heard the electricity running,” Lauren Watling, a nearby resident, told KNSD-TV. “And then after that, we heard the plane actually crash. We ran out immediately and there was a ton of smoke everywhere. All we saw was fire and smoke.”
Currently, there are more than 2,000 residents in the area without power, the television station reported.
Thomas O’Brien said he lives a few blocks from the crash site and heard the plane approaching, the Union-Tribune reported. That was not unusual, he said, since his neighborhood is situated in the flight path for Gillespie Field, but O’Brien said what he heard was unusually loud.
“It was 10 times louder than normal,” O’Brien told the newspaper. “My walls started shaking, like there was an earthquake. I froze. Honestly, I thought it was about to hit us.”
Monday night’s crash comes two months after a small plane went down near a high school in Santee, California, killing two people and injuring two others.
Cardiologist Sugata Dasthe, who was piloting the twin-engine Cessna C340, and a UPS driver who was on the ground were both killed in the Oct. 11 crash.


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