No Survivors as Small Plane Crashes Into House in San Diego County

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.
December 28, 2021 Updated: December 28, 2021

A small plane crashed in a neighborhood near the city of El Cajon, San Diego, on Monday night before bursting into flames, officials said.

The plane crashed at around 7 p.m. local time near Pepper Dr. and N. Mollison Ave, a few miles east of Gillespie Field airport, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said on Monday.

“The plane was scheduled to land at Gillespie Field in El Cajon,” it added.

Firefighters said no survivors were found at the crash scene. Officials have yet to reveal how many people were on the plane.

No injuries or fatalities have been reported on the ground, with at least one house damaged. The cause of the crash is unknown at this time.

Officials are investigating the incident and roads surrounding the area have been closed. Local residents were being asked to avoid the area.

The crash reportedly took down power lines, and San Diego Gas & Electric reported that 350 residents were without power. Power is expected to be restored to customers again on Tuesday around 6 a.m.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that a California Highway Patrol incident log indicated the aircraft may have struck a home.

Multiple videos of the crash were shared on Twitter. They show flames erupting from the area where the plane reportedly fell, while firefighters tackle the fires. Debris from the crashed plane can be seen on the ground nearby.

Local reports have identified the crashed plane as a Learjet 35, which was flying from John Wayne Airport in Orange County to Gillespie Field in El Cajon, although authorities have not officially confirmed this.

Audio footage of air traffic radio from Learjet N880Z was shared on Twitter in which a pilot can be heard requesting clearance to land but seconds later, he can be heard screaming before the transmission cuts off.

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department confirmed late Monday that the fire had been put out in the area, adding that it will “take time to process the scene.” The Federal Aviation Administration along with the National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating, the Sheriff’s Department said. 

The Epoch Times has contacted San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for further comment.

One resident in the area described hearing the plane crash before seeing fire and smoke.

“We were outside and basically, we heard the plane getting closer. Normally they get loud because we live right by the airport, but it got really, really loud and all of the sudden, we think it could’ve hit our power lines above our house, but we just saw bright blue and orange flashing lights and we heard the electricity running,” Lauren Watling, a resident in the area, told NBC San Diego.

“And then after that, we heard the plane actually crash. We ran out immediately and there was a ton of smoke everywhere. All we saw was fire and smoke,” the resident said.

Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.