5 killed in plane crash near South Coast Plaza shopping center

Nasim Ghanadan Floria Hakimi and Lara Shepherd

No one on the ground was hurt and there were no other passengers in the plane.

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

The Orange County Fire Department said the plane's engine cut out before it could make it to the airport.

The incident took place around 12:30 pm local time, when malls and stores typically bustle with customers. Tony Bommarito said. "This was a Sunday afternoon and we have people shopping, so the fact that we have no injuries on the ground is a miracle in itself".

Tweets from people near the scene show a crumpled plane among the cars and palm trees of the parking lot.

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It was a close call for at least one person, whose vehicle got damaged in the incident.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Salac said the pilot of the twin-engine Cessna 414 declared an emergency before crashing.

The plane crashed in the parking lot of a Staples office supply store in the 3800 block of Bristol Street, according to Stephen Concialdi, spokesman for the fire authority. We looked up and we just saw a plane fall.

Referring to the pilot, Bommarito said: "If he did do anything that prevented him from going anywhere else that was more crowded, he did a great job".

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