The Latest: Pilot declared emergency before freeway crash - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

The Latest: Pilot declared emergency before freeway crash

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Latest on a small plane that crashed on a freeway in Southern California (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

A small plane was trying to return to a Southern California airport after declaring an emergency when it crashed on a busy freeway, erupting into a ball of flames and smoke.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the pilot declared an emergency Friday morning shortly after taking off from John Wayne Airport in Costa Mesa.

He says the pilot was trying to return to the airport when the plane fell from the sky and crashed on Interstate 405.

Video posted on social media showed the plane completely engulfed in flames and strewn across several lanes of the freeway. Traffic was backed up for several miles as firefighters worked to battle the blaze.

Orange County Fire Capt. Larry Kurtz says the two people who were aboard the plane suffered traumatic injuries.

10:45 a.m.

A fire official says a plane that crashed on a Southern California freeway clipped a car as it crashed but the driver wasn't seriously injured.

Orange County Fire Capt. Larry Kurtz tells KCBS-TV that Cessna 310 aircraft clipped the car as it crashed Friday morning on Interstate 405 near John Wayne Airport in Costa Mesa. He says the driver of the car suffered a "bruised elbow."

Kurtz says there were two people - a man and a woman in their 50s and 60s - aboard the plane when it crashed. He says both were pulled from the fiery wreckage and were taken to a hospital with "traumatic injuries."

The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane crashed just short of an airport runway.

John Wayne Airport says its airfield is closed to arrivals.

10:05 a.m.

A fire official says two people have been injured after a small plane crashed on a freeway near a Southern California airport.

Orange County Fire Capt. Larry Kurtz says the plane crashed on Interstate 405 near John Wayne Airport in Costa Mesa around 9:30 a.m. Friday.

He says two people have been injured and will be taken by helicopter to a hospital.

Kurtz says fire officials will be shutting down the freeway in both directions.

The airport said on Twitter that a Cessna 310 aircraft had landed on the freeway, short of the runway. The airport said the airfield is closed to arrivals.

A photo posted on Twitter showed what appeared to be a small twin-engine aircraft with flames shooting out of the front and smoke surrounding the aircraft.

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