It was a wild and deadly scene in East Palo Alto Wednesday morning when a small plane came crashing down in a neighborhood clipping a key power tower, two homes and several automobiles. The crash happened on a very foggy morning on the peninsula.
"It hit some power lines next to my house," one man told Bay City New said at about 8:20 a.m. He was evacuating his house and said he couldn't talk further. "It's pretty dismal," he said.
No injuries were reported on the ground, but the three passengers on board died on impact. They were employees at Telsa Motors on their way to Southern California.
"When we heard the initial explosion I thought it was an earthquake," homeowner Pamela Houston said. "Then I looked out the window and saw fire."
The FAA said a twin-engine Cessna 310 left Palo Alto Airport on a trip to Hawthorne Municipal Airport south of Los Angeles -- but crashed under "unknown circumstances."
The plane came down near Beech Street and Pulgas Avenue at 7:55 a.m. There were power outages all along the Peninsula for hours Wednesday.
Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman said the plane's wing sheared off and landed on two homes, causing the houses to catch fire. No one inside the homes was seriously hurt. One of the homes is a daycare center, but none of the children had arrived for the day before the crash.
The fuselage also fell off and landed on several cars. One man tried to put the fires out with a garden hose before emergency crews arrived.
There was a huge response by emergency agencies to the scene. Friends and relatives of the people who live in the area also rushed to the neighborhood to check on their loved ones. The area was also filled with people evacuated from the crash zone.
Patricia Armistead, who lives around the corner on Pulgas Avenue, told Bay City News she was in the back of her house when the plane crashed.
"I was on my computer and I heard a great big crash and my whole house shook, and when I went outside I heard there was a plane that went down a couple houses from me," she said.
"You couldn't really see anything because the fog was so thick." She added that she could see one thing: flames.
Marie McKenzie, who lives several blocks away on Myrtle Street, said she has been advocating for the past three years to have planes stop flying over the neighborhood.
"It's a flagrant disregard for the community," she said. "We don't want that in our neighborhood." She said planes fly low overhead daily and create a lot of noise.
"The crash shows that this is dangerous," she said. "Individual pilots are different than commercial pilots. The foggy conditions are inappropriate to fly in."