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Plane Crash Kills 2 at Santa Monica Airport

November 14, 2001|From a Times Staff Writer

A twin-engine Cessna 340 crashed and burned in a failed takeoff at Santa Monica Airport on Tuesday, killing a man and a woman, authorities said.

The plane crashed about 6:35 p.m., said Jill Barnes, a spokeswoman for the Santa Monica Fire Department.

The pilot tried to abort the flight, and it was unclear whether the plane even left the ground, she said.

"The pilot realized something was wrong and tried to stop, but was not successful," Barnes said. "The plane . . . skidded 2,000 feet to the end of the runway. It went down an embankment, across a service road and into a guardrail where it went up in flames."

The passengers' identities were not released. The cause of the crash was not known.

Jack Griffith, manager of the Typhoon restaurant, which is near the beginning of the runway, said the crash was about half a mile away.

"Some of the customers and I saw the flames," he said. "We didn't really know what it was. But when we saw all the flashing lights, we figured it out."

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will conduct an investigation.

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