A small plane crashed near an airport in Visalia, California, after takeoff, leaving at least four people dead on Saturday, officials said.
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said its deputies were called to an area near Road 68 and Avenue 288, located west of the Visalia Municipal Airport about reports of a plane crash after 6 p.m.. Four people were on the plane when it went down, the office said.
The sheriff’s office said in a news release that the plane crashed at about 6:40 p.m. local time, just 16 seconds after it took off from the airport.
“When deputies arrived, they found a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza had crashed, killing all four people on board,” the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office said. “The identities of the victims have not been confirmed.
So far, no information regarding victims or injuries is known by officials. The cause of the crash was also not disclosed.
The federal National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, the office said. Authorities told local media that the Federal Aviation Administration will also deploy its personnel to the scene of the crash.
“It was dark. At the time, it was much foggier,” Visalia Police Sgt. Jesse Cox told the Visalia Times-Delta of the incident. “We circulated the area with personnel until we found it (the wreckage).”
Photos of the plane wreckage that were posted online showed the plane’s crumpled cabin and debris in an orchard. Meanwhile, footage of the flight path obtained by the tracking website Flightradar24.com showed the small aircraft crashing into a field near Highway 99.