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accidents

5 killed when plane crashes near busy mall in Southern California

Five people were killed on Sunday afternoon when their twin-engine Cessna crashed into a parking lot in Santa Ana, California.

The victims have not yet been identified. Orange County Fire Capt. Tony Bommarito said the plane was headed to Santa Ana's John Wayne Airport from Concord, northeast of San Francisco, when the pilot declared an emergency. The plane crashed outside of a Staples, not far from the busy South Coast Plaza mall, hitting an unoccupied car. No one in the parking lot was injured.

The plane was less than two miles away from the airport when it crashed. Bommarito said a fire crew was eating lunch down the street when the plane crashed, and made it to the scene within a minute of the plane going down. "I don't know anything about what this pilot did or what he was thinking, but it could have been much more tragic," Bommarito said. "This was a Sunday afternoon, and we have people shopping, so the fact that we have no injuries on the ground is a miracle in itself."