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One killed in California plane crash

Buena Park
A plane crashed in Buena Park, California, on Saturday.  

BUENA PARK, California (CNN) -- A twin-engine Cessna Skymaster airplane crashed in Orange County Saturday, killing one person on board and sparking a small fire in the area, authorities said.

The plane crashed around 1 p.m. PST (4 p.m. EST) in a vacant lot surrounded by commercial and residential buildings in Buena Park, about 27 miles southeast of Los Angeles, said Orange County fire officials. The plane crashed about a block away from the Fullerton Municipal Airport, The Associated Press reported.

NTSB investigator Howard Plagens said the plane had been cleared to land and did not report any problems or make an emergency radio call.

Officials in the tower said the plane was too high and did not have its landing gear down as it approached the airport. It rolled and crashed vertically into the ground before the tower could alert the pilot, Plagens said.

The crash caused a ground fire at the point of impact, possibly knocking down cable or telephone lines, said Dennis Shell, a spokesman for the Orange County Fire Authority. The fire was extinguished.

The aircraft was "well destroyed," Shell said.

There were no reports of injuries on the ground.

Some witnesses said the pilot appeared to deliberately turn the plane toward the vacant lot to avoid hitting people in the area, but Plagens said it was too early to say whether the pilot could control the plane.




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