Local

2 killed as small plane crashes into Hawthorne townhouse

NBC4 photo of Hawthorne townhouse hit by crash of small plane on June 10, 2016. The two people aboard the plane were killed. No other injuries were reported.
NBC4 photo of Hawthorne townhouse hit by crash of small plane on June 10, 2016. The two people aboard the plane were killed. No other injuries were reported.
NBC4 / Twitter

A small plane crashed into a two-story townhouse complex building in Hawthorne on Friday, killing the two people aboard the aircraft. Nobody on the ground was hurt.

The crash was reported at about 5:12 p.m. in the 4600 block of Broadway, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Gustavo Medina.

The crash caused a fire in one of units, which was extinguished by firefighters in about 11 minutes, Medina said. Another unit sustained some cosmetic damage to its exterior, he said. 

"We are getting our search and rescue team out there to assess the stability of the structure — to make sure it's safe — and a further, thorough assessment just to make sure there's no other victim at this time," Medina said.

The crash scene is less than a mile southwest of Hawthorne Municipal Airport.

Antwahn Nance told KPCC media partner NBC4 that he heard the engine sputtering as the plane flew at a low altitude. He said he rushed to the townhouse when he heard the crash, but when he got closer the plane was engulfed in flames.

"Everybody was outside their apartments and tried to offer assistance, but there was nothing anybody could do. It was too hot," Nance said.

The aircraft was a Grumman American AA-1B, according to Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration, which will investigate the crash along with the National Transportation Safety Board.