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3 killed in plane crash near Calif. airport; plane was headed to Henderson

BARSTOW, Calif. (AP) — A small plane plunged into a hillside about 2½ miles from a high desert Southern California city’s airport Sunday, killing three people onboard, authorities said.

Witnesses who saw the crash said the plane appeared to suddenly spiral out of the sky and go straight into the side of the hill, said Alan Hamm, who works at Daggett-Barstow Airport about 2½ miles from the crash area.

The plane went down about 12:40 p.m. Sunday in a rugged area just off Interstate 40, San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman Arden Wiltshire said. Investigators at the scene confirmed three people were killed, and authorities had no further information on their identities of if anyone else might have been on the aircraft, which burst into flames, Wiltshire said.

"The area is somewhat rugged and we’re utilizing four-wheel drive vehicles to reach the site," she said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the plane was believed to be a Cessna 210 that was heading from John Wayne Airport in Orange County to Henderson Executive Airport in Nevada.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the cause of the crash.

Barstow is about 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

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