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Small plane crash in US state of California kills six on board

This picture shows a plane that crashed into the side of a building by the French Valley airport in southwestern Riverside County, California on July 4, 2023. (File photo by AP)

A small private plane has crashed in the US state of California, killing all six people on board.

US authorities said the Cessna C550 business jet crashed into a field in southern California on Saturday morning at around 4:15 am local time before bursting into flames.

Police officers dispatched to the site discovered the crashed plane on fire in the field. The local sheriff said the six people on board the plane were pronounced dead at the scene. The identities of those killed in the crash have not been released.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the aircraft crashed near Murrieta airport, southeast of Los Angeles. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are both investigating the cause of the crash.

A tweet posted by Cal Fire/Riverside county fire department said the plane crashed and caught fire, burning about an acre of vegetation before it was contained.

Aircraft Emergency:rpt@4:16 a.m. Auld Road X Briggs Road in French Valley. Cessna aircraft down in a field, fully involved in fire. The fire burned approximately one acre of vegetation, was contained at 5:35 a.m. and the incident has been turned over to RSO and the FAA. Please…

— CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (@CALFIRERRU) July 8, 2023

Meanwhile, local media reported the aircraft, which had taken off from Las Vegas International Airport, was passing through heavy fog that had blanketed the area on Saturday morning.

It said the fog might have caused the aircraft's pilot make an error in judgement and miss the runway.

The Saturday morning crash marked the second fatal incident near the French Valley airport in Riverside county. One man was killed and three were injured when a plane struck the side of a building by the airport on Tuesday.

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