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Posted: 6/7/2003 6:54:28 AM EDT
LOS ANGELES (AP)--A small plane crashed into a three-story apartment building near Hollywood, setting the structure ablaze, killing at least two people and injuring seven others on the ground. Authorities said the Friday crash was believed to be an accident. The body of a building occupant was found under burning debris, Deputy Fire Chief Mario Rueda said. The body believed to be that of the pilot was found in the plane wreckage. The crash frightened Los Angeles residents and tourists who watched the plane sputter over the city before taking a nose-dive into the building. The plane plunged through the two floors of apartment units to the ground-floor garage. ``All of a sudden, I heard a real loud swirling noise ... then a real loud bang and the whole apartment shook,'' said Will Binder, who lives in an adjacent apartment building. ``We heard the plane going around in circles and it started losing power ... It hit. We saw black smoke,'' said Carlos Mancilla, 43, who was shopping with friends on Melrose Avenue when the plane crashed. Three of the seven injured were taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. They included a man who was burned over 25 percent of his body, Fire Chief William Bamattre said. Another man with burns over 18 percent of his body was taken to the Grossman Burn Center in the San Fernando Valley and was in critical but stable condition, said Dr. Peter Grossman. The building, which had 14 units, burned fiercely at first, but firefighters had the blaze under control in about a half-hour. By then about half the building was gutted. Battalion Chief Daren Palacios, said it might take up to two days to determine if other people were buried in the debris. The Fire Department had not immediately compiled a tenant list and couldn't say late Friday whether everyone was accounted for. The crash occurred in Los Angeles' Fairfax district, a heavily Jewish area with quiet, older neighborhoods and trendy shopping areas near West Hollywood. The plane was believed to be a six-seat aircraft that took off from Santa Monica Airport about 10 miles away, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Donn Walker. A single turbo-charged engine Beechcraft Bonanza BE-36 departed Santa Monica at 3:45 p.m. and had been in contact with the tower, NTSB investigator Tealeye Cornejo said. ``There's no indication from tower that there were any problems,'' Cornejo said. The Bonanza pilot did not file a flight plan and was operating on visual flight rules, he said. He did not have any other information about that plane, including how many people were aboard. Cornejo said no flight recorder was found in the wreckage and that investigators have not determined who owns it. Adam Krolfifer of High Point, N.C., was in line waiting to see a taping of ``The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn'' when he heard a plane overhead. ``We were waiting at CBS Studios. I heard a plane, like he was doing acrobatic moves. About four minutes later, we saw a huge plume of black smoke,'' said Krolfifer, who was in Los Angeles on vacation. ``It sounded like it was making maneuvers, the engine getting stressed out,'' he said. Mancilla and his friends ran to the building after the plane hit and saw a man on the second floor getting ready to jump, he said. ``We were telling him not to jump, but he said, 'I'm jumping,''' Mancilla said. As he jumped or fell, ``there was a second explosion and we were covered with smoke,'' he said. The jumper was apparently not seriously injured. California authorities notified the Homeland Security Department about the crash, and the agency was working with state and local officials to monitor the situation, spokeswoman Rachael Sunbarger said. Police initially responded with counterterrorism, hazardous materials and bomb squad units, but after a preliminary investigation determined the crash was an accident and turned it over to the National Transportation Safety Board, said Assistant Police Chief Jim McDonnell. ``This was not a terrorist incident,'' said Councilman Jack Weiss, whose district encompasses the crash site. AP-NY-06-07-03 1011EDT
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 7:19:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 11:49:05 AM EDT
Ban Civil Aviation! For the Children™.
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 11:55:29 AM EDT
obviously the fault of the property owner.. they should not have built an apartment complex there!
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 12:10:18 PM EDT
This is huge!
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 12:22:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/7/2003 12:29:00 PM EDT by raven]
If this was an unintentional accident, a similar thing happened in Anchorage yesterday, about a mile from where I live. [img]http://www.adn.com/images/images/326499.jpg[/img] A DeHavilland Beaver on floats piloted by John Sumrall ran short on fuel and miraculously landed safely in the back yard of a house at 3501 Lakeshore Drive across the road from Lake Spenard on Friday. Homeowner Thais Thomas was awakened from a nap when the plane took out the railing on her deck and plopped down softly on part of her garden, which has been featured on the Anchorage Garden Club's tour of gardens. No one was hurt. (Photo by Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News) [url]http://www.adn.com/alaska/story/3252097p-3281850c.html[/url]
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 2:24:32 PM EDT
Hey Santa Monica is great place to fly around from, if you like traffic. Just north of the LAX pattern. The field is the old Douglas bomber factory strip. The coastal fogbank comes about halfway down and you still operate. You line up and take-off away from the fog to the east and then they swap the pattern and land to the west on the same half runway. great place to learn. After that nuthin wll scare ya.
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