3 dead, 2 injured in plane that hits houses in California

RIVERSIDE (CNS) - Firefighters will do a secondary search today of the wreckage of a twin-engine airplane that crashed in a residential neighborhood in Riverside, killing a man a woman and a teenage girl and destroying two homes.

Two women, estimated to be in their late 30s to early 40s, survived the fiery crash but were injured after being ejected from the plane into one of the homes and rescued by firefighters before being taken to hospitals. One was in critical condition this morning, and other was in stable condition, according to the Riverside Police Department.

The names of the dead were withheld, pending family notification. It was unknown which person was piloting the airplane, police said.

Personnel from the National Transportation Safety Board were on scene this morning conducting an investigation.

All the victims were on the plane and everyone on the ground was accounted for, but a secondary search of the wreckage will be conducted today as a precaution, according to the Riverside Fire Department.

The crash was reported about 4:40 p.m. Monday in the 6400 block of Rhonda Road, near Dewey Avenue, about a half-mile northeast of Riverside Municipal Airport.

The Cessna 310 was carrying a married couple and three others from the San Jose area, Riverside Fire Department Chief Michael Moore told reporters at a late night news conference.

One survivor was taken to the burn unit at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton and was in surgery Monday night, Moore said. She was in critical condition today. The other survivor was taken to the Riverside Community Hospital for treatment, and was in stable condition.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told City News Service the aircraft was en route to San Jose and had just departed Riverside.

Those on the plane had come from San Jose for a cheerleading conference at Disneyland, Moore said. Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim hosted the United Spirit Association Jr. Nationals cheerleading competition on Saturday and Sunday, the Press-Enterprise reported.

The plane clipped power lines as it went down.

Light rain was falling at the time of the crash, and overcast conditions prevailed, though visibility was about three miles, according to Riverside Municipal Airport.

The plane had a fairly full fuel tank and the crash caused a fire that continued to burn into Monday evening, Moore said.

The family who lived in one of the destroyed homes returned from a family event following the crash and verified that they were all together and accounted for, Moore said, adding that their home, along with one other, was a total loss. The person living in the other home has been accounted for, police said today.

Adjacent homes sustained moderate damage. An entire block of about 40 homes was evacuated, but some were allowed back home this morning, authorities said.

A shelter was set up for displaced residents and the American Red Cross confirmed it was assisting five displaced families but was anticipating a sixth.

The American Red Cross also was providing mental health workers trained to deal with disasters to speak with residents in the neighborhood about what they saw and experienced.

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