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4 dead in California plane crash; teens were returning from cheerleading competition

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 28/02/2017 Samantha Schmidt
Smoke rises from a fire after a plane crashed in Riverside, Calif. © Watchara Phomicinda/The Press-Enterprise via AP Smoke rises from a fire after a plane crashed in Riverside, Calif.

A plane carrying a husband, wife and three teenagers crashed into two homes in a Riverside, Calif.,  Monday, killing at least four people, authorities said.

The plane’s passengers were returning to San Jose after a weekend cheerleading competition at Disneyland. At least one of the four people pulled from the wreckage was a resident of one of the homes damaged in the crash, which happened just before 4:40 p.m., Riverside Fire Chief Michael Moore said in a news conference.

A teen girl who was ejected from the plane survived with minor injuries. An additional unconscious victim — a resident of one of the homes — was pulled from the rubble and transported to a hospital in “very critical condition,” Moore said.

They had not yet identified any other residents on the site of the crash, but found two cars on the scene.

Two houses have been completely destroyed and the entire block —  an estimated 20 houses on each side of the street — has been evacuated so that the National Transportation Safety Board can investigate. A shelter has been set up at a nearby community center.

“We are continuing to look for live victims as we go,” Moore said, adding that some of the wreckage continued to burn Monday evening.

“This is supposedly a happy time and then just to have a tragic incident like this …,” he said, “It’s really just a sad case for us.”

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