Five dead as plane crashes into shopping centre vehicle park in California

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Five people on board a small airplane were killed when it crashed in the vehicle park of a Southern California shopping centre.

The plane went down at about 12:29 p.m. into the parking lot of a Staples Supercenter, 3861 S. Bristol St. Moments before small plane crashes in Santa Ana parking lot Witnesses said the engine cut out as it spiraled toward the ground.

The twin-engine Cessna plane was bound for John Wayne Airport when it crashed a mile (1.6km) away on Sunday.

Orange County Fire Authority Captain Steve Concialdi says the Cessna was heading to the airport when it came down and struck an empty parked auto in the lot of a Staples store.

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The plane also hit a auto, but no one in that vehicle was reported injured.

Authorities are still in the dark as to what was going on in the descending plane's cockpit. Authorities have no other information about the flight at this time, Bommarito said.

"This is a Sunday afternoon and we had people shopping so the fact that there were no injuries on the ground is a miracle in itself", he said, as cited by the Los Angeles Times.

The plane was registered to a San Francisco company and had flown from the East bay suburb of Concord, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records. The cause of the incident will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board, with the assistance of the FAA.

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