According to a recording, a twin-engine plane that had killed at least two people in San Diego, caused a lot of damage and nosedived into the ground. It was following repeated warnings it was flying too low.
The Cessna 340 crashed into a UPS van and killed the driver. It then struck houses in Santee just after noon Monday, a suburb of 50,000. It is also believed that the pilot died. At least two others on the ground were injured, including a woman who was rescued from the flames by her neighbors.
According to a tweet from the agency, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator was expected to arrive on the scene Tuesday morning.
It was about to land at Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport, San Diego, when it crashed. A few minutes earlier, the plane was less than a mile from the runway when an air traffic controller alerted it that the aircraft was too low.
In audio from KSWB-TV, the controller informs the pilot that “Low altitude alert”, he advises him to climb immediately and climb the plane.
The controller keeps urging the plane to climb to 5,000ft, and when it remains at 1,500ft warns: “You seem to be descending again sir.”
KGTV-TV-TV, an ABC affiliate posted video it said it received from a viewer. It shows the plane arcing in space and then plummeting into the neighborhood in a burst.
Dr. Sugata Das owned the plane and may have been the pilot. He died in the crash.
According to Yuma Regional Medical Center’s chief medical officer, he worked there.
According to the website of a non-profit organization where he was the director, Das, a licensed pilot, lived and commuted to Yuma. Two young sons were left by him.
United Parcel Service of America Inc. confirmed the death of one of its employees, but it was not immediately known who.
A block away, residents reported that their houses were shaken by the loud crash.
Neighbors rushed to rescue a couple thought to be in their 70s who were trapped inside a burning house.
Michael Keeley (43), ran nakedfoot outside, and saw fires devouring the UPS truck. He called through an open window with two of his neighbors who were also at the home on fire.
Keeley reached out through the window to reach a woman’s arm, helping her climb out of the house. There was thick smoke in the home and flames on the roof. He said that her forearms were charred and her hair was twisted.
Keeley, a probationary officer, said that she was glad she didn’t have bare feet to go in the house.
Other neighbors also came to the rescue of the husband by tearing down the fence.
Keeley stated that after the couple fled to the sidewalk, the woman begged for help for her dog, who was believed to have been inside the house.
He said, “She kept saying, “My puppy, my puppy,”
Moments later, the explosions occurred inside the house. They helped the couple to walk safely away until paramedics arrived.
Andrew Pelloth (30), lives next to the couple. He was working from home when he heard something.
He said that his initial thought was that it was a meteorite falling down. “I could hear it fall, then there was an explosion.”
Pelloth looked out and saw that the UPS truck was on fire. Pelloth grabbed a fire extinguisher, and then joined neighbors to pull the fence boards from the couple’s yard in order to save the husband.
Erik Huppert (57), who came down to help his home shake after it was damaged, claimed that he saw the man walk in the yard after the boards were removed.
Huppert, a military contractor, stated that both were in shock but were still alive.
Pelloth stated that no one was at home in the house that was damaged, which was only sold a month earlier.