1 dead in small plane crash near Ventura, fire department says

VENTURA, Calif. (KABC) -- At least one person was killed when a small plane crashed Thursday afternoon in the hills northwest of Ventura, according to fire officials.

The plane crashed north of Ventura near the 101 Freeway and Taylor Street under unknown circumstances, said Allen Kenitzer with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Ventura County Fire Department said they were looking into initial reports that a second possible aircraft was involved in the incident, but upon further investigation, they believe only one plane was involved.

Witnesses reported the crash just before noon after some said they spotted parts falling off the plane and landing near them.

Fire officials classified the crash as being very unusual.

"It is highly unusual for an aircraft to be in multiple pieces this far apart...I can't confirm that it did explode - it is conjecture - but it's a little bit odd," explained Ventura County Fire Department Public Information Officer Steve Swindle.

Ground crews were searching the debris site, trying to find the plane's black box and aircraft tail number, which will give investigators more information as to what caused the crash, where the plane took off from and where it was headed.

A beach area next to the 101 Freeway was closed for an unknown duration of time.
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