California Plane Crash Kills At Least 2, Including Pilot and UPS Driver

·3 min read
Small plane crashes into UPS delivery truck and home, Santee
Small plane crashes into UPS delivery truck and home, Santee

K C Alfred/San Diego Tribune/Shutterstock

A small plane crashed down in a Southern California city Monday afternoon, killing at least two people.

The plane, which the Federal Aviation Administration identified as a twin-engine Cessna C340 in a statement shared with PEOPLE, crashed at around 12:14 p.m. PT. The FAA was unable to identify how many people were aboard the aircraft at the time of the crash.

At the time of the crash, the plane had been traveling from Yuma, Arizona to either the Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport or Montgomery Field in Kearny Mesa, according to a news release issued Monday by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Small plane crashes into UPS delivery truck and home, Santee
Small plane crashes into UPS delivery truck and home, Santee

K C Alfred/San Diego Tribune/Shutterstock

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The statement also confirmed that at least two people had been killed in the accident, with two others transported to the hospital for their injuries.

According to updates posted to the Santee city website Monday, the plane "crashed into two residential homes," also striking a delivery truck and fire hydrant. Witnesses told NBC San Diego that the plane's wing hit a UPS truck and the body of the aircraft then "slid toward two homes and exploded."

In a statement shared with PEOPLE, UPS confirmed that one of their employees died in the crash.

Small plane crashes into UPS delivery truck and home, Santee
Small plane crashes into UPS delivery truck and home, Santee

K C Alfred/San Diego Tribune/Shutterstock

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"We are heartbroken by the loss of our employee, and extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We also send our condolences for the other individuals who are involved in this incident, and their families and friends," the company said in a statement. "We are cooperating with the responding authorities in their investigation, and we are respectfully deferring questions to the investigating authorities."

Dr. Bharat Magu, chief medical officer of the Yuma Regional Medical Center in Arizona, said in a statement shared by the Associated Press that the the pilot of the plane was Dr. Sugata Das, a cardiologist who worked at the medical center.

"We are deeply sad to hear news of a plane owned by local cardiologist Dr. Sugata Das which crashed near Santee," Magu said. "As an outstanding cardiologist and dedicated family man, Dr. Das leaves a lasting legacy. We extend our prayers and support to his family, colleagues and friends during this difficult time."

According to the outlet, Das lived in San Diego and flew to work in the twin-engine plane.

Southern California Plane Crash, Santee
Southern California Plane Crash, Santee

Gregory Bull/AP/Shutterstock

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Santee Mayor John Minto called the crash a "dreadful tragedy" in a video statement shared to Twitter Monday night.

"I want to extend my sympathies to the families and friends of those who tragically lost their lives," Minto said. "On behalf of our city council, we want you to know we are extending whatever support we can for those who were injured, lost homes or suffered property damage in this incident."

The crash is currently under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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