A small airplane crashed on Monday killing three, injuring two and damaging homes in a neighborhood within a half mile of the Riverside Municipal Airport.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor told reporters the airplane, a Cessna 310, was en route from Riverside to San Jose.
According to witnesses, the plane with five people on board, crashed into two Riverside homes and split apart—there were three fatalities. Two of the five passengers survived with injuries and were taken to local hospitals, one to Riverside Community and the other to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center—both survivors are in critical condition. Neighborhood residents helped pull one of the survivors to safety.
Reports indicate the airplane passengers had attended a cheerleading competition at Disneyland over the weekend and were on their way home. To date no personal information has been released pending notification of the families. Fortunately, no one on the ground was injured in the tragedy.
The plane crashed around 4:40 p.m. Monday shortly after takeoff on Central and Streeter Avenues; because it had just taken off, the aircraft had a full tank of fuel and caused a significant conflagration.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident and had cordoned off the area so it could assess the area while also checking for airplane parts and other debris scattered across the impact area. At least two homes were destroyed and at least two others were damaged.
An ABC News report revealed there is an average of five small plane crashes in America each day that result in nearly 500 deaths annually; and according to the National Transportation Safety Board, 97 percent of America’s aviation fatalities occur in general aviation (private planes, helicopters, etc.), not commercial airline flights.