No survivors found after small jet crashes near San Diego

EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — No survivors were found after a small business jet with four people aboard crashed and burned near San Diego, knocking out power to hundreds of homes, authorities said.

The Learjet 35A went down just after 7 p.m. Monday in an unincorporated area of El Cajon, east of Gillespie Field, where it was scheduled to land, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

National Weather Service data described sky conditions at Gillespie as “fog/mist” at 6:55 p.m. Radio communications between the jet and the airfield recorded by LiveATC.net indicated that trouble happened suddenly.

The pilot canceled an instrument flight rules approach to one runway and requested a switch to another runway using visual flight rules.

After the switch was granted and new instructions were given, the pilot asked that the field lights be turned up and was told they were already at 100%. The pilot suddenly exclaimed three times and screamed.

“Firefighters were not able to find any survivors at the crash scene,” the Sheriff’s Department statement said, adding that identifications will be made by the county medical examiner’s office.

The Federal Aviation Administration said four people were aboard the jet when it departed John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California, and headed to Gillespie, about 78 miles (125.5 kilometers) to the south.

FAA records show the twin-engine jet was registered to El Cajon-based Med Jet LLC. A request for information was sent to an email listing for the company.

No one on the ground was hurt but one home was damaged and power lines were knocked down in the area, the department said.

Video from the scene showed firefighters dousing several small fires along a street littered with debris and downed power lines.

According to San Diego Gas & Electric’s outage map, more than 600 customers lost power.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating but did not plan to release any information until a preliminary report is produced in several weeks. A final report, including the probable cause, will likely take 12 to 24 months, the board said.

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