A small plane owned by a prominent Indian-origin cardiologist has crashed in the US state of California, killing two persons, including the physician, and causing a major fire that engulfed nearby homes and left a swath of destruction, according to media reports.
Dr Sugata Das, who worked as an Interventional Cardiologist at Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) in Arizona, owned the twin-engine Cessna C340 aircraft, media reports said.
However, there’s no confirmation whether Das was the pilot at the time of the crash on Monday, KYMA.com, a CBS/NBC-affiliated TV station, reported on Tuesday.
“We are deeply sad to hear news of a plane owned by local cardiologist Sugata Das, which crashed near Santee (California),” YRMC’s Chief Medical Officer Bharat Magu said in a statement.
“As an outstanding cardiologist and dedicated family man, Das leaves a lasting legacy. We extend our prayers and support to his family, colleagues, and friends during this difficult time,” Mr Magu said on the Pune-born doctor.
The crash near Santana High School in Santee, a suburb of some 50,000 people, appeared to have sparked a fire that burned at least two homes, damaged five others and several vehicles, but responding firefighters were able to put out the blaze before it spread to other houses.
Another person who died was a UPS worker who was on the ground.
United Parcel Service of America Inc. confirmed that one of its employees was killed during the plane crash.
“We are heartbroken by the loss of our employee, and extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. We also send our condolences for the other individuals who are involved in this incident, and their families and friends.” KXTV, an ABC affiliate, reported, citing a statement issued by the UPS.
The City of Santee said that in addition to two fatalities, two other victims had been transferred to a hospital in unknown condition. Debris litters a block-long area, and power in the neighborhood has been turned off.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the plane crashed at about 12:15 p.m. on Monday.
“평생 사상가. 웹 광신자. 좀비 중독자. 커뮤니케이터. 창조자. 프리랜서 여행 애호가.”