LAKE BALBOA (CBSLA) — A small plane crashed near the Van Nuys airport on Friday, killing two people.
A fire erupted, which was quickly put out by fire crews.
Mike Dinesh owns the business attached to the parking lot. He said his employees rushed out to help.
“In the middle of the parking lot, [it] crashed, and then exploded,” he said. “My guys in the office brought out the fire extinguisher.”
Both the pilot and the passenger died on impact, according to officials.
A source on the ground who witnessed the incident said that the plane crashed just after takeoff. They said it appeared to be in a steep climb and stalled, before nosediving into the parking lot.
“We felt a jolt inside our condo, said one woman who lives close by, who says she’s witnessed one other small plane crash since living in the area. “We thought it was an earthquake…and then you could smell it.”
ALERT: We are aware of a small aircraft that has reportedly gone down near VNY. First responders are on the scene and traffic is being diverted from Hayvenhurst Ave between Sherman Way and Hart Street. VNY air traffic is not currently affected.
— LAX Airport (@flyLAXairport) September 11, 2020
The plane crashed between two rows of parked cars and surrounded by several buildings. Officials said not structures were hit, but three cars were damaged.
Federal investigators are looking into the cause of the crash.