Costa Mesa mall is reportedly surrounded by firetrucks and ambulances after the Orange County Fire Authority and Costa Mesa fire units reported that a plane crashed in the parking lot.
The incident was reported around 12:29 p.m Sunday afternoon. PD Live reports that five people have been killed. All of the fatalities were aboard the plane, a Cessna 414 that was on approach to John Wayne Airport, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi from the scene. There were no survivors, he said. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
Arlene Salac, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said that the plane had reported an emergency, according to the Orange County Register. “The FAA will investigate and the NTSB will determine the cause of the accident,” she said.
The plane went down and hit at least one unoccupied car in the parking lot of a Staples Supercenter, Concialdi told City News Service. Nobody on the ground was injured, and the owner of the damaged car was inside shopping at the time of the crash.
While the crash was a tragedy, OCFA Capt. Tony Bommarito said, “The fact that there was no injuries on the ground is a miracle in itself.”
OCFA PIO wrote: “PLANE DOWN – SANTA ANA- OCFA and Costa Mesa Fire units are onscene of an aircraft down in the 3900 block of Bristol Street in the City of Santa Ana. Unknown injuries at this time.”
OCFA also wrote that a “medical group has been established to handle patient care and treatment. OCSD “Duke” helicopter is also onscene.”
All four directions at the intersection of Sunflower at Bristol were closed, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Tony Bommarito told City News Service. The crash site is about one mile northwest of the northern end of the runway at John Wayne Orange County Airport.
Twitter user Eddie Ponsdomenech also posted a picture of a plane crash in the parking lot Sunday afternoon and wrote: “Plane crash Costa Mesa mall parking lot. Fatalities confirmed.”
The original death toll was reported as three, but was upped to five after firefighters had a chance to examine the scene. The death toll may rise.
The plane was registered to a San Francisco company and had flown from the East bay suburb of Concord, according to FAA records.
PD Live reported that the aircraft was registered out of Orange County, and that the plane was a Twin Engine Cessna aircraft.
This isn’t the first time Costa Mesa has dealt with a plane crash. Just last year in June, 2017, two people were injured after a small plane crashed on the 405 freeway.
This is a developing story. Heavy will continue to update as more information is known.