RIVERSIDE – A loud boom and residents of a quiet Riverside neighborhood in the 6400 block of Rhonda looked out to witness something none of them immediately understood. On Monday evening, a Cessna 310 carrying five occupants left the Riverside Municipal Airport following a weekend Cheerleading competition that was held at Disney California Adventure Park in the City of Anaheim. The five were en route to San Jose, where they all lived; three of them family members.
Around a mile away from the airport, for reasons which remain under investigation, the plane fell from the sky crashing down on two homes and subsequently catching fire. The City of Riverside Safety Communications Center was notified of the aircraft down near Hillside and Central. Firefighters rushed into the area in response to the aircraft down and when they arrived they upgraded the incident to three alarm with four AMR ambulances requested at the scene. The fire and debris involvement included 6418, 6428, 6438 and 6448 on Rhonda.
As firefighters approached the home the located a female patient (patient #1), who was assisted out of the aircraft wreckage and brought to the home across the street. Patient one was alert and breathing, but in critical condition. She was able to tell firefighters that four others were on board the aircraft, where they are from, and why they were in the area. She was transported to Riverside Community Hospital. The home located at 6428 Rhonda was searched for additional patients and a second female adult (patient #2) was located lying on a bed in a bedroom of a home in which the aircraft passenger compartment was intruding into. She was also alert, but in critical condition and transported to the hospital, also in critical condition.
A third female was removed from the aircraft to an open area and had succumbed to the fire. Patient #3 was removed by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Coroner. Two additional victims were located in the aircraft passenger compartment, who had also succumbed to the fire. “There was one resident at home in 6438 Rhonda when the aircraft struck his home,” said Bruce Vanderhorst in a news release. “The resident was barely able to escape before the roof and wall collapsed.”
Riverside Police and Riverside Fire Department Arson Investigators assisted with perimeter control and securing the scene for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Utilities were secured by Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) and SOCAL Gas. FAA arrived on scene and assisted with investigation instructions.The fire department was at the scene until 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. The property loss including homes and the Cessna 310 is estimated at approximately $1 million with an estimated save at $450,000.
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