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Plane crashes after takeoff in Southern California; 4 killed

CORONA, Calif. — Four people were killed Wednesday in the crash of a small airplane at a Southern California airfield, authorities said.

The plane went down at Corona Municipal Airport, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles, police said.

Firefighters found the plane burning in brush on the east side of the airport, not far from one end of the runway.

Four fatalities were confirmed, the Corona Fire Department said on Twitter.

Witness Dorothe Voll said she saw the plane strike a fence during takeoff, turn over and quickly catch fire. It got no more than about 3 feet off the ground, she told the Orange County Register.

There were two explosions and then heavy flames, Voll said. “We brought over fire extinguishers, but it was all engulfed,” she said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The airport was closed to flights after the crash.

The airport is strictly for recreational aviation and has several hundred general aviation aircraft based there, according to its website.

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