Four people lost their lives on Wednesday shortly after their small aircraft took off from the Corona airport on Wednesday afternoon.
KTLA in Los Angeles reports that the single-engine plane took off from the Corona Municipal Airport at around noon. The plane went down near the east side of the airport that is located on Aviation Drive.
Emergency crews, including the Corona Fire Department and the Corona Police Department, responded to the scene of the crash and found the aircraft completely engulfed in flames.
John DeYoe, a spokesperson for the Corona Fire Department, told reporters that the plane had a full tank of fuel that spilled and ignited vegetation near the crash site. The fire consumed approximately ¼ of an acre before it was brought under control by firefighters.
All four people who had been on board the plane suffered extensive burns and were declared dead at the scene. Their identities have not been released.
Authorities say that the small aircraft had stopped at the Corona Airport to refuel. After refueling, eyewitnesses at the airport said they saw the pilot attempt to take off three times and would only get 2 – 3 feet off the ground.
“We didn’t hear him pull back power, “eyewitness Dorthe Voll said. It was then that she and others knew that the plane was going to crash. Even after shouts to try to get the pilot to pull back, Voll said the plane hit a fence and flipped over.
After the crash, the plane began spewing smoke. Airport workers came running over to the crash site with fire extinguishers and attempted to put out the fire.
Corona Airport authorities closed the airport after the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration (FSAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are expected to conduct an investigation as to the exact cause of the crash.