Plane nosedived into California parking lot, 5 dead

Five killed after plane crashes near South Coast Plaza in Santa Ana

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

Three Pacific Union International agents were among the five people killed Sunday when their small plane crashed near a shopping center in Santa Ana. The plane struck a parked auto but no one on the ground was injured, he said.

The aircraft had departed from northern California earlier in the day and departed Orange County after a stop.

The plane is registered to the San Francisco-based real estate company Category III, according to an FAA database.

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An earlier version of this article said that the plane crashed in the parking lot of South Coast Plaza.

When the engine failed the aircraft began free-falling from the sky and before landing in an empty parked vehicle outside of a Staples store.

The plane went down in a parking lot just outside a Staples business supply store about 1½ miles from the airport. Video taken by people on the ground and posted on social media shows a crumpled airplane with two broken sections and at least one body outside the aircraft.

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Pham, 20, and her boyfriend were walking in a parking lot Sunday when they saw a twin-engine Cessna crash, she told the Los Angeles Times.

Bommarito explained the plane was on its way to nearby John Wayne Airport, and it is possible the pilot intentionally avoided people on the ground during the plane's collision to limit the number of casualties.

The FAA launched an investigation into the crash, and added that the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause.

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