Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cirrus SR22 crashed in Agua Dulce, Los Angeles

A small plane crashed and burst into flames Thursday in a horse corral in northern Los Angeles County, killing at least two people and three horses, a fire official said.

The single-engine Cirrus SR22 went down at about 12:10 p.m. behind a barn in Agua Dulce, county fire Inspector Matt Levesque said. The plane caught fire but was quickly doused, he said.

The plane had departed from Van Nuys Airport and was headed to Parker, Ariz., when it went down, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. The crash site was about a mile west of the Agua Dulce Airpark.

Fire Inspector Don Kunitomi said two people were confirmed dead but it was not known if anyone else was aboard due to the state of the wreck. Fire officials earlier reported four people dead.

Three horses in the corral were killed and a fourth was injured, Levesque said.

Neighbor Scott Strickland told KCAL-TV he was inside his house when he heard a big explosion, then ran to the crash site.

"The two horses are on fire and I just see smoke everywhere," Strickland said. "I saw somebody yell `grab a gun.' Somebody grabbed a gun, came over and put the horse out of his misery 'cause he was just on fire, you couldn't do much after that," he said.

The cause of the crash was under investigation. The skies were overcast at the time of the crash, Gregor said.

The plane was registered to a Calabasas company, Gregor said. He would not provide the name until the FAA confirms the owners were notified.

The high-desert area about 30 miles north of Los Angeles is flanked by forest and the urban communities of Santa Clarita and Palmdale. It is near Vasquez Rocks, a local rock formation often used as a filming location for movies and TV shows.