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Woman Killed in Plane Crash Was a Violinist

Accident: Victim is identified as Shoba Srinivasan, 28. Pilot, a fellow musician, is still in critical condition.

March 19, 1997|JOSE CARDENAS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PACOIMA — The fiery light-plane crash that left a violinist from the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra critically burned also killed another of the orchestra's violinists.

Examiners determined that the badly burned remains discovered in the wreckage of the plane after Saturday's crash were those of Shoba Srinivasan, 28, of Arcadia, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner's office said Tuesday.

Examiners identified her through dental records, said the spokesman, Scott Carrier.

Pilot Jordan Kaplan, 32, of Pasadena--also a violinist in the orchestra and a mechanical engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena--was burned over 90% of his body and remained in critical condition Tuesday at the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital.

The two were scheduled to perform with the group this Sunday at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, said David Bendett, executive director of the orchestra,

"We're going to dedicate this concert to them," Bendett said.

Doctors face difficult problems in treating Kaplan, said Larry Weinberg, a spokesman for the burn center. They were worried about infection but were unable to remove Kaplan's burned skin because he might be too weak with respiratory problems to go through the surgery, Weinberg said.

Kaplan is being given antibiotics, but doctors are growing increasingly concerned over the possibility of infection, Weinberg said.

The plane crashed into a converted garage at a vacant house in the 12700 block of Pierce Street just before 3 p.m. Saturday.

Officials at the Federal Aviation Administration said the plane had just taken off from Whiteman Airport and was apparently trying to get back to the runway before going down.

Neighbors reported seeing the two-seat, 1940s-vintage Ercoupe on fire before it plummeted to earth, authorities said. Neighbors said they found the crashed craft in flames and Kaplan on the ground a few feet away--urging bystanders to find his passenger.

On Tuesday, friends called Kaplan and Srinivasan well-liked members of the orchestra.

"She was very bright, smart and energetic," said Sonia Luna, another violinist. Srinivasan could usually be found socializing in a group of friends during breaks at orchestra rehearsals, she said.

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