5 killed in plane crash in California parking lot

Small plane crashes in Santa Ana shopping center parking lot; 4 people reported killed

A small plane crashed in the parking lot of a shopping center in California on Sunday.

A real estate company says three of its employees and two of their family members were killed in a Southern California plane crash. In what local authorities call a miracle, no one was hurt on the ground.

A small plane crashed near the parking lot of a mall in the USA state of California, killing all five people on board, the authorities said.

Ella Pham and her boyfriend were walking across the lot Sunday when they saw the twin-engine Cessna plummet.

"It was so heartbreaking just seeing the plane crumbled into pieces", she said.

"It sounded like a truck hit the building", he told the Orange County Register.

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"I saw the plane come around and I realized it was probably going to come down", witness Alex Perkins told KCBS.

Dashboard from a vehicle in the area shows the plane as it nose-dived to the ground.

The 1973 Cessna 414 was registered to Category III Aviation Corp.in San Francisco company and had flown from the San Francisco Bay area suburb of Concord, according to FAA records.

Photos from the scene show the plane upright but on its belly outside the South Coast Plaza shopping center in Santa Ana, where wreckage was seen in front of a Staples store.

The pilot had declared an emergency before the incident, and national transportation authorities are now investigating the cause of the crash.

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