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Pilot, Bystanders Hurt When Plane Crashes

October 27, 2000

GARDENA — A pilot and several bystanders were injured Thursday when a private plane crashed into the back of a small business about half a mile south of Hawthorne Municipal Airport.

The Gardena Fire Department received the 11:10 a.m. call about an airplane down at 13120 Crenshaw Blvd. The crash also caused a fire, which bystanders helped put out.

The pilot, Gary Eimiller, 48, of Redondo Beach, fractured his left arm and received burns on his face and hands. He is listed in serious but stable condition at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. There were no passengers.

Two employees at the business hit by the plane received minor injuries as they helped put out the fire. They were treated at the hospital and released.

Just after takeoff, the single-engine, four-seat aircraft clipped several high-voltage lines, causing a power outage for nearly 2,200 customers in the neighboring area of Hawthorne, according to Southern California Edison spokesman Tom Boyd.

Boyd said the company restored power to most homes by late afternoon and expected to return service to those in the immediate area of the crash by midnight.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

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