Tragedy struck as a small twin-engine plane crashed into several homes, leaving at least two dead and multiple homes on fire.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department reports that a small twin-engine plane crashed into several homes on Monday, October 11th. The plane also managed to hit a UPS truck, killing the driver.
CBS8 reporter Marcella Lee tweeted: “BREAKING NEWS: A small plane crashed in Santee near Santana HS; Kids are safe. Initial reports indicate the plane hit a UPS truck, killing the driver; two homes are on fire; reports of human remains found in a backyard.”
BREAKING NEWS: A small plane crashed in Santee near Santana HS; Kids are safe. Initial reports indicate the plane hit a UPS truck, killing the driver; two homes are on fire; reports of human remains found in a backyard 💔 Visit https://t.co/pYpRBys7DC for developing info. @CBS8 pic.twitter.com/j52COXKNXu
— Marcella Lee (@MarcellaNews8) October 11, 2021
The crash, which took place in the San Diego suburb of Santee, left two homes destroyed, and another three homes damaged.
Neighbors in the area rushed to the scene to help rescue a couple in their 70s from one of the burning homes. Marie Morris was pulled out of a window, while her husband Phil Morris was rescued from the backyard of their home. The couple was taken to the UC San Diego Medical Center, where they are believed to be doing okay.
Mike Bohen, one of the Morris’ neighbors, said that he witnessed the rescue.
“They started pulling stuff out of the window, and then they got Marie out,” Bohen told NBC 7.
“She was concerned about her dog. At that time the house was starting to become fully engulfed. I don’t know where Phil was. [Maria] was too incoherent to say anything. She just was out of it. Her hair was burned, her face was burned,” he continued, noting that he does not believe that the dog survived.
Along with the damaged homes came several fatalities, though police have not yet confirmed how many.
“We do have multiple confirmed fatalities, we do not know exactly how many,” said Justin Matsushita, deputy fire chief for the city of Santee, during a press briefing. “We do know there are at least two confirmed.”
The pilot, who perished in the crash, has been identified as Dr. Sugata Das, a cardiologist at Yuma Regional Medical Center in Arizona. The other confirmed fatality was the UPS driver, who died in his truck.
Videos of the plane crash were shared throughout social media, many of them coming from residents in the area.
One video posted by a Twitter user showed a home and a vehicle completely engulfed in flames. In the video, a second explosion can be heard, which sets off a nearby car alarm.
— Matt Gravette (@MattGravette) October 11, 2021