The pilot — who was the only one on board — died along with four people who were inside the Yorba Linda, California, home, at the time of the crash

By Caitlin Keating
February 04, 2019 11:50 AM

Five people died and three others were injured on Sunday after a plane fell apart mid-air, caught fire and crashed into a California home, according to reports.

The pilot — who was the only one on board — died along with four people who were inside the Yorba Linda, California, home, at the time of the crash, Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Cory Martino said at a news conference. He added the victims inside the home, which caught on fire, were two males and two females, but he couldn’t confirm their names or ages.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said that the Cessna 414A took off from the Fullerton Municipal Airport, which is just a dozen miles away from where it crashed.

The Los Angeles Times reports that officials confirmed that the main cabin of the airplane landed behind someone’s home, and the wreckage spanned four blocks.

Alex Gallardo/AP/Shutterstock

Joshua Nelson, 28, told the newspaper he was about to take a nap when he heard the loud noise of the crash. When he got out of bed and ran to the front door he saw black smoke.

“I would never expect anything like this to happen here,” he said, adding that he began to record a video of the scene before he realized what had happened.

The crash site
Alex Gallardo/AP/Shutterstock

Another neighbor, Nancy Mehl, 65, told the Los Angeles Times that “it felt like a bomb went off through the front of the house.”

A piece of the plane’s engine flew through two rooms of her house before landing in a bathroom, she said, and fragments of the exhaust pipe crashed through a second-floor window and melted into the carpet.

“One of the first things I did when I saw the damage was get on my knees and thank God,” added Mehl. “Talk about being spared.”

John Wolbart, who lives a block away from where the crash happened, told TIME he walked into the burning house and saw a woman come out with singed hair.

“It was a boom. It sounded like something exploded. It shook our house,” he said.

Pokey Sanchez, an assistant chief with the Orange County Fire Authority, said that the wounded were taken to a hospital with burn injuries, according to TIME, and a firefighter was treated for a minor injury.

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