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Santa Monica Plane Crash: Small Jet Hits Hangar While Landing

Image: Santa Monica Plane Crash: Small Jet Hits Hangar While Landing

By Michael Mullins   |   Monday, 30 Sep 2013 08:08 AM

A private plane on a flight from Idaho crashed into a hangar while landing at Santa Monica Airport in California on Sunday evening. There were no survivors.

Federal Aviation Administration officials refused to say how many people were aboard the plane when it struck the hanger about 6:30 p.m., only that the crash itself was "unsurvivable," local CBS affiliate KCAL-TV reported.

The private plane was reportedly a twin-engine Cessna Citation, a model that is often used as a business jet and seats up to nine people.

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According to KCAL-TV, the plane had departed from Hailey, an area in Idaho popular for vacationers.

Registered to Creative Real Estate Exchange LLC, an Alabama-based real-estate company, the business jet was owned by a resident of Malibu, Calif., according to FAA records, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The plane reportedly went off the runway before striking the hangar, FAA Public Affairs Manager Ian Gregor told reporters during a news conference Sunday evening.

Due to the hanger being partially collapsed over the plane the Santa Monica Fire Department says it was prevented them from being able to immediately access the crash site.

NBC Los Angeles' Kate Larson tweeted out a photo of the collapsed hanger shortly after the crash.

Additionally, there were other vehicles in the hangar at the time of the crash that might have contributed to the subsequent fire officials told reporters.

"It wasn't an emergency landing. It was just a landing, and the tire popped afterwards," witness Charles Thomson, a flight instructor, told CNN affiliate KCAL-TV. "It looked like a fairly benign way for a plane to lose control."

Since Sept. 15, the plane had made eight flights, the Los Angeles Time noted, four of which were between Hailey and Santa Monica.

The crash shocked nearby residents.

Nearby resident Jack Bonner, 15, described the explosion as being "like a thunderclap."

"I was like, 'Wow, what the heck is going on?'" the Santa Monica High School sophomore told the Los Angeles Times.

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"We heard a boom, we thought it was fireworks, and then we saw smoke," local resident Rachel Pollack told KCAL-TV.

According to officials, the fire was contained to the hanger and never posed a risk to nearby residents.

Related stories:

Plane Crashes While Attempting to Land at San Francisco International

Plane Crashes Near LA After Mid-Air Collision; 1 Dead, 3 Survive

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