Remains Of 2 Men, 2 Women Recovered From Plane At Santa Monica Airport
SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — The remains of two men and two women were recovered Tuesday morning from an airplane that crashed over the weekend at Santa Monica Airport, the Los Angeles County Coroner said.
The coroner arrived around 6 a.m. to the site where the twin-engine Cessna Citation went off the runway Sunday night before it collided with a runway sign and crashed into a hangar, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The hangar collapsed on the plane, which then caught on fire. Authorities said the blaze, which spread to two nearby hangars, burned at unusually high temperatures due to jet fuel. As a result, an unknown number of aircraft and vehicles were damaged.
There were no survivors, Santa Monica fire officials said.
It’s unclear what caused the plane’s pilot to lose control of the aircraft, however, witnesses reported seeing the plane lose a tire.
Charles Muttillo, Vice President of Morley Builders, issued a statement Monday about who might have been onboard:
“We are aware of a plane crash at Santa Monica Airport last night. While we do not have specific facts, we believe that our President and CEO, Mark Benjamin, and his son, Luke Benjamin, a Senior Project Engineer with us were on board. We are unable to issue a further statement at this time. We will provide you with more updates as soon as we learn of them. Thank you.”
The eight-passenger aircraft was reportedly registered to Benjamin, whose family founded the construction company in 1947.
The coroner has yet to identify any of the four victims. It was also unclear if anyone was in the hangar at the time of the crash.
The plane originated from Hailey, Idaho, where Muttillo said the passengers were taking a weekend vacation.
Santa Monica Airport reopened Tuesday afternoon.