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3 people, dog died after 2 planes collided while landing at Northern California airport

WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Two planes attempting to land at a Northern California airport collided on Thursday, killing three, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to SFGate.com.

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Update August 19 at 6:00 p.m. EST: According to The Associated Press, authorities with the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office said that three people and a dog were killed in the crash Thursday evening.

The AP said that the names of the three people will be released once SCSO has completed notifying the next of kin.

National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator Fabian Salazar said, according to the AP, that two people and a dog were on “a twin-engine Cessna 340,” and only a pilot was on “a single-engine Cessna 152,” when it crashed.

The NTSB is expected to have a preliminary report available about the crash in about two weeks, according to the AP.

Original story: The crash occurred at about 2:56 p.m. PDT at the Watsonville Municipal Airport, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Multiple agencies responded to the scene around 3:37 p.m. PDT, according to the city’s Twitter account. City officials said there were “multiple fatalities.”

According to an FAA representative, the two planes involved were a twin-engine Cessna 340 and a single-engine Cessna 152, KGO-TV reported. The pilot was aboard the Cessna 152, while in the other aircraft, according to a preliminary statement from the FAA.

According to Watsonville officials, both planes were making their final approaches at Watsonville Municipal Airport when they struck each other and fell to the ground, SFGate.com reported. The names of the people in the aircraft have not been released.

In a statement, the FAA said no injuries were reported on the ground.

“A single-engine Cessna 152 and a twin-engine Cessna 340 collided while the pilots were on their final approaches to Watsonville Municipal Airport in Watsonville, California., around 3 p.m. local time today,” the FAA said. “One person was on board the Cessna 152 and two people were on board the Cessna 340. No injuries were reported to anyone on the ground.”

At least one plane appeared to have crashed into a hangar next to the runway, KPIX-TV reported.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, according to the television station. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation.

The airport is located in Santa Cruz County, and Watsonville has approximately 52,000 residents, the Chronicle reported. The city is known for agricultural exports like strawberries, according to the newspaper.

The airport has four runways and is home to more than 300 aircraft, according to its website.


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