Single-engine craft crashes near Orcutt school
One person was killed Wednesday when a single-engine plane crashed near the playground of a school in Orcutt, authorities said.
The plane crashed around 10:45 a.m. near the basketball court at Ralph Dunlap Elementary School. Santa Barbara County Fire Department crews responded to the area and confirmed that the aircraft had crashed and the lone occupant was killed on impact, said Capt. Daniel Bertucelli, fire spokesman.
The plane exploded shortly after landing. A second alarm was called due to the fire, but responding units were quickly able to extinguish the blaze upon arrival. Several special armed resources were called to the scene but were canceled after crews doused the fire, Capt. Bertucelli said.
Caution tape was wrapped around a pair of basketball hoops to secure the scene. A trailer located near the courts was charred from the fire but remained intact.
A video from the crash posted to social media showed a parachute being deployed just prior to the plane touching down. A loud boom could be heard as the plane hit the pavement and flames and smoke shot into the air.
Students and teachers were not present at the school because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fire crews left the area once the fire was extinguished. Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department personnel secured the sight of the crash until officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board could respond and begin an investigation into the cause of the crash.
“Details of the investigation will come out as the information becomes available,” Capt. Bertucelli said. “Try to be patient because these investigations can take a while.”