SANTA ANA, CA (RNN) – A small plane crashed and caught fire on Interstate 405, short of the runway at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, CA, south of Los Angeles. The airport said the pilot called mayday to the tower just 11 seconds after takeoff. A fire official said he was circling back attempting to re-land, but failed to make it to the runway.
Three people were injured. Two were taken from the plane and airlifted to a hospital; one was the driver of a vehicle who suffered minor injuries when his truck was clipped by the plane. Their conditions are not known.
The twin-engine Cessna 310 went down about 9:30 a.m. local time. Orange County Fire Captain Larry Kurtz told KABC that two people were injured and taken by helicopter to a hospital. He did say the victims were both in their 60s and were showing vital signs when they were taken out of the plane.
The airport is located next to the interstate, and the plane crashed in the southbound lane not far from of the runway it was trying to reach. Police closed the freeway in both directions because wreckage scattered over lanes in both directions.
The northbound lane reopened about 30 minutes after the crash. The southbound lane is still cluttered with police and rescue vehicles, and the wreckage has not been moved.
Kurtz said the wreckage will stay right where it is until an investigation by federal authorities is completed. The FAA and the Transportation Safety Board will both be involved in the investigation, KTLA reported.
The investigation is expected to cause major traffic flow problems for the already-busy Fourth of July weekend.
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