BREAKING: 5 killed in plane crash near South Coast Plaza shopping center

Five people were killed when a twin-engine aircraft crashed near the South Coast Plaza shopping center in Costa Mesa today.

It was not clear if anyone was hurt on the ground, as the plane went down and hit at least one unoccupied car, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi told City News Service.

The plane went down at about 12:29 p.m. into the parking lot of a Staples Supercenter, 3861 S. Bristol St. The nearby intersection of Sunflower Avenue at Bristol Street was closed in all four directions near the crash, just northeast of the mall and on the city boundary between Costa Mesa and Santa Ana, OCFA Capt. Tony Bommarito said.

It was not clear if any people on the ground were hit. The parking lot is shared by Staples, a CVS drug store, a Michaels’ decorations store, and a Wells Fargo Bank branch.

The crash site is about one mile northwest of the northern end of the runway at John Wayne Orange County Airport.

The plane was registered to a San Francisco company and had flown from the East bay suburb of Concord, according to FAA records.

The death toll was originally believed to be three, but was upped to five as firefighter examined the crash.

More to come.

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