Two planes collide over Watsonville airport, multiple casualties reported
- 2 planes collided mid-air over Watsonville Municipal Airport
- The planes were making their final descent into the airport
- There was one person aboard a Cessna 152 and two people aboard Cessna 340
Two planes clashed mid-air over the Watsonville Municipal Airport Thursday afternoon. Authorities confirmed there were multiple casualties, city fire department chief told CNN. A statement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said a single-engine Cessna 152 and a twin-engine Cessna 340 collided during their final descent into the airport.
There was one person aboard the Cessna 152 and two people aboard the Cessna 340, the FAA statement read. No one on ground was injured.
Report of the crash came in at 3 pm local time, according to a Twitter post from the city which claimed that "multiple agencies" were reporting the incident.
Watsonville is located nearly an hour south of San Jose. City officials later issued a statement saying they were saddened to hear about the tragic incident that took the lives of several people. "The city of Watsonville sends its deepest condolences to the friends and family of those who passed," it said.
The collision is being investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board. It is unclear as to what caused the two planes to collide.
The planes were around 200 feet in the air when they crashed, Santa Cruz Sentinel reported quoting a witness. Pictures and videos of the crash on social media showed wreckage of one small plane in a grassy field near the airport, the Independent reported. Another picture showed a plume of smoke visible from a street near the airport.
A photograph from Watsonville showed damage to a small building at the airport with firefighters at the scene.
Thursday's crash was the second plane crash in California within a span of nine days. On August 9, a plane had crashed into a freeway in Corona, California. Two people who were on board escaped unscathed. The plane had crashed in a bid to land at an airport and underwent "possible engine failure," California Highway Patrol had said.