It was Super Bowl Sunday, and most Americans were glued to their TVs, watching the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots duke it out for bragging rights to being called the best football team in the world.
And, all over the country people were hosting and/or attending parties thrown in honor of the big game. For one family in Yorba Linda, California, however, their Super Bowl celebration turned to tragedy when ane unexpected nightmare took place.
Early reports said two people were dead, but now we have an update that tells the sad news that the death toll has risen by three. At least five people are now confirmed dead and at least two more were injured when a small plane that had just taken off from a nearby airport crashed into a home in this Southern California residential neighborhood.
Fox News reports, “A twin-engine Cessna 414A crashed in Yorba Linda, in Orange County around 1:45 p.m. The plane had taken off from the Fullerton Municipal Airport, about a dozen miles west of the crash site, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.”
Soon after the aircraft hit the residence, it burst into flames, consuming the two-story structure in an immense fireball. Unfortunately, inside the home were several people who had just gotten together to prepare for the big game, which was due to begin in less than two hours. They were unable to escape the inferno that erupted shortly after the aircraft hit the home.
"Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Cory Martino told reporters that a male pilot was the only person in the plane. The four occupants of the house -- two males and two females -- died from the flames, he said. No other identifying information such as names or ages was immediately released.”
The aftermath of the crash was witnessed by many neighbors who rushed into the street when they heard the explosion, many of whom caught real-time footage of the catastrophe on their cell phones. As you might expect, much of it has been posted to social media.
The billowing smoke could be seen from miles away.
“SAD SUPER BOWL SUNDAY LOOKING OUT MY FRONT WINDOW, PLANE CRASH IN YORBA LINDA, CA. PRAY FOR OUR NEIGHBORS 🙏🏼“
Twitter user Joshua Nelson wrote, "A few houses down [from the crash] the propeller and engine landed in their yard."
The National Transportation Safety Board dispatched a team to the scene and, in a statement, investigator Elliott Simpson was forthcoming with a few details.
Simpson shared that the house was struck by the plane’s main cabin and one of the engines. The other engine broke away from the rest of the craft and landed in the street, gouging a huge hole into the asphalt.
The scene from the sky was a picture of destruction and chaos. Airplane parts were strewn about the neighborhood, “including side panels and a propeller, scattered on rooftops and driveways near the burned house.
The main body of the twin-engine plane was found in the backyard of another home not far from the burned house. The fire spread to an SUV that was parked in the driveway.”
Firefighters caught a small break in their herculean efforts to extinguish the blaze, as the rain was falling from the sky through the operation. The NTSB is conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash and will release additional details when it is appropriate to do so.
The injured are being treated for severe burns at a local hospital. Authorities will conduct a more thorough search of the residence for possible additional victims.
Please join us in praying for all those affected by the horrendous tragedy, especially those injured and the families of those killed.