| SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept 30
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept 30 The fiery
crash-landing of a small jet at the Santa Monica, California,
airport killed all aboard, though the number of victims has yet
to be determined, airport and federal safety officials said on
The twin-engine Cessna Citation swerved off the right side
of the runway on landing at Santa Monica Municipal Airport at
about 6:20 p.m. local time on Sunday, slammed into a hangar and
burst into flames, airport manager Stelios Makrides said.
The hangar structure collapsed around the plane, and
investigators have not been able to reach the aircraft to
determine how many people were on board, Makrides said. He said
it was not known whether anyone was inside the hangar just
before the crash.
The plane had departed from Hailey, Idaho, according to Ian
Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration. The Cessna
Citation family of jets has a seating capacity for between five
and nine people.
An investigation team from the National Transportation
Safety Board arrived at the scene on Sunday night, NTSB
spokesman Keith Holloway said. Makrides said the NTSB returned
to the crash site on Monday morning to resume its probe.
Makrides and Holloway both said there were no signs of
survivors. Captain John Nevandro of the Santa Monica Fire
Department said it was "an unsurvivable crash."
Makrides said something occurred as the plane touched down
that made it veer to the right, but that the cause was under
Witness Charles Thomson told local television station and
CNN affiliate KCAL-TV that a tire on the plane's landing gear
appeared to burst as it touched down.
"It wasn't an emergency landing," Thomson said. It was just
a landing, and the tire popped afterwards."
News pictures taken shortly after the crash showed billowing
black smoke curling up over aircraft at the airport, which
serves communities west of downtown Los Angeles. Subsequent
images showed the tail of an aircraft protruding from the partly
collapsed hangar, flanked by fire trucks.
(Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by
Cynthia Johnston and Leslie Adler)