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Single-engine planes collide, killing at least five

  • Story Highlights
  • Two pilots, two passengers and a person in a car dealership were killed
  • Crash leaves wreckage strewn along a suburban L.A. commercial strip
  • Aircraft involved were a two-seat Cessna 150 and a four-seat Cessna 172
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A midair collision between two single-engine planes over suburban Los Angeles left at least five people dead, including one killed by the falling wreckage, police and federal officials reported.

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A piece of plane in a parking lot following Sunday's mid-air crash in California.

The collision occurred about 3:35 p.m. Sunday (6:35 p.m. ET) in Corona, California, about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.

The pilot of each aircraft was killed, along with one passenger in each plane and another person inside a car dealership below, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Wayne Pollack said.

The final death toll will not be known until Monday when one of the planes is opened and bodies are removed, Pollack said.

The aircraft involved were both single-engine Cessnas, a two-seat Cessna 150 and a four-seat Cessna 172, the NTSB investigator said. Video Watch video of the crash wreckage »

The engine and part of the cockpit of the Cessna 150 fell through the roof of a Chevrolet dealership killing one person inside the building, he said.

Eyewitness Jeff Hardin said the smaller plane "just disintegrated into pieces" in the collision, while the larger plane "pretty much stayed intact and started spiraling down."

"There were maybe 50 pieces coming down," he said.

Pollack estimated that the debris fell over an area about 300 yards wide and 500 yards long.

The crash left wreckage strewn along a commercial strip, including several car dealerships, near the Riverside Freeway.

Weather is not believed to have been a factor since it was clear and winds were calm at the time, Pollack said.

The identities of the dead were not confirmed by Sunday night, he said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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