Five dead and three injured after plane falls apart mid-air and crashes into two-story home in Orange County

A Cessna 414A crashed into a two-story Yorba Linda home just 10 minutes after take off, leaving five dead and another three injured

                            Five dead and three injured after plane falls apart mid-air and crashes into two-story home in Orange County

Five people were killed and a further three were injured in a freak accident in Orange County, California, on Sunday, February 3, after a small plane fell apart in mid-air, caught fire, and then crashed into a two-story home in a residential neighborhood. The victims were three males, one of whom was confirmed as the pilot, and two females. Their identities were not released by the officials.  

According to the Los Angeles Times, the plane, a Cessna 414A — a light, pressurized, twin-engine aircraft — took off from the Fullerton Municipal Airport at 1:35 p.m. Radar showed that the plane took a left turn after take-off and began rapidly losing altitude 10 miles into the journey.

A spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Office said they got a call about a crash in the 19000 block of Crestknoll Drive in Yorba Linda at 1:45 p.m. When deputies arrived at the scene, they found that the plane had crashed into a two-story home which caught fire after the accident.


Pieces of the aircraft were strewn across yards in a four-block radius. The pilot, who was the sole occupant of the plane, was confirmed dead at the scene, as were two men and two women who were in residence at the home at the time of the crash. Two other people were taken to a hospital and were treated for mild to moderate burns, and a firefighter at the scene sustained a minor ankle injury.


While the main cabin of the Cessna 414A safely landed in a ravine, a piece of its engine found its way through a neighbor's home and came close to proving fatal. The Los Angeles Times reported that 65-year-old Nancy Mehl was in her kitchen when she heard a high-pitched whine of a plane preparing for takeoff and then felt a "bomb went through the front of the house." The engine piece had knocked down a pillar on the front porch and proceeded to bounce through a first-floor window before ripping through two bedrooms and landing in a bathroom. Mehl, who had taken her two labradors and run to the far corner of her house on instinct, were unharmed.


While other neighbors did not have such a close call with death, they recalled the frightening accident with gruesome detail. 28-year-old Joshua Nelson was taking a nap when he heard a loud bang outside his home and saw a propeller of a plane land in the yard of a house three yards down. In the chaos, he managed to capture a video of the scene.

Most of the wreckage from the aircraft is expected to be recovered within the week and will be sent to a storage facility in Phoenix for further examination. It is unclear what caused the plane to fall apart and crash, with investigations into the accident still ongoing. 

Watch the Orange County Sheriff's Office press conference here: