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"Officials: Fire not contained after crash at Santa Monica Airport"



Monday, September 30, 2013

Officials: Fire not contained after crash at Santa Monica Airport 
By Laura J. Nelson
The Los Angeles (CA) Times


A fire at the Santa Monica Airport that started when a small jet crashed
into a hangar Sunday night has spread to two hangars nearby and is burning
uncontained, authorities told The Times.

A two-engine Cessna that took off from Hailey, Idaho, landed at the airport
around 6:20 p.m., veered off the right side of the runway and struck a
storage hangar, authorities said. The jet and the hangar burst into flames
during the crash, officials said, and the hangar partially collapsed on top
of the jet.

Authorities have not been able to access the wreckage or see the plane's
tail number, sources told The Times; that has made it more difficult to
access the plane's records or know who was onboard.

The Fire Department dispatched six fire engines and four ambulances, but
none took victims to the hospital, spokeswoman Bridgett Lewis said. She
could not say whether the jet was inside the first hangar at the time it
collapsed.

It is unknown how many people were aboard the plane at the time it crashed.
Lewis declined to comment on injuries or deaths.

The flames burned at a higher temperature than most fires because jet fuel
was involved, Lewis said. The flames then spread to two hangars nearby and
caused minor damage.

Advocates for pollution controls near the airport said they were concerned
that the fire could spread to homes nearby.

"This is a warning of the potential that this airport has to do harm to the
closely surrounding, highly populated neighborhoods," said Martin Rubin, who
directs Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution.

The Cessna business jet is registered to Creative Real Estate Exchange LLC,
a real-estate company based in Alabama and Georgia, according to the firm's
website. The owner of the plane lives in Malibu, according to FAA records.

The plane had made eight flights since Sept. 15, according to flight
tracking websites, including four between Hailey and Santa Monica.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash at the
scene, officials said.

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