SANTE, CA, Oct. 12 (U.S.): A twin-engine plane killed at least two people and left a trail of destruction in a San Diego suburb, plummeting to the ground after repeated warnings it was flying dangerously low, according to the filing.
A Cessna 340 crashed into a UPS truck, killing the driver, and then crashed into homes on Monday afternoon in Santee, a suburb of 50,000 people. The pilot is also believed to have died, and at least two people on the ground were injured, including a woman whom neighbors helped out of the window of a burning house.
An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to be at the site Tuesday morning, according to the agency’s tweet, The Associated Press reports.
The plane was going to land at Montgomery Gibbs Executive Airport in San Diego when it crashed. Shortly before, when the plane was about half a mile from the runway, an air traffic controller alerted the pilot that the plane was too low.
“Low-altitude alert, climb immediately, climb the plane,” said the pilot’s audio control device obtained by KSWB-TV.
The controller repeatedly urges the plane to ascend to an altitude of 5,000 feet, and when it remains at 1,500 feet he warns: “Looks like you’re landing again, sir.”
KGTV-TV, an affiliate of ABC, posted a video the station said it received from a viewer showing the plane veering through the sky and then plunging into the neighborhood in flames.
The plane was owned by Dr. Sujata Das, who was probably piloting the plane and died in the accident.
The hospital’s chief medical officer said he was working at Yuma Regional Medical Center in Arizona.
Das, a licensed pilot, lives in San Diego and commutes back and forth to Yuma, according to a website for a nonprofit organization he worked for as a manager. He leaves two young sons.
The United Parcel Service of America Inc. The death of one of its workers, although the name of the employee was not immediately disclosed.
People within a block of the scene said their homes were shaken by the thunderbolt.
Neighbors ran to help and helped rescue a couple believed to be in their 70s from a burning house.
Michael Kelly, 43, ran outside barefoot and saw flames engulfing a UPS truck and a house in the corner. He joined two neighbors in the burning house in calling out through an open window.
With thick smoke inside the house and flames chasing the ceiling, Kelly reached out the window to grab a woman’s arm and help her out. He said that her forearms were burnt and her hair was drenched.
“I’m glad I didn’t have to go in barefoot,” said Kelly, the probation officer.
At the same time, other neighbors demolished the couple’s fence to save the woman’s husband from the backyard.
After the couple escaped to the sidewalk, Kelly said, the woman called for help for her dog, which he thought was inside the house.
He said, “She kept saying, ‘My puppy, puppy.