September 29, 2013 in Idaho

Small jet hits hangar at Santa Monica Airport

Associated Press
 

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — A small jet that took off from Idaho has crashed into a storage hangar and started a large fire after landing tonight at a Southern California airport, officials said.

The twin-engine Cessna Citation that took off from Hailey, Idaho, went off the right side of the runway at Santa Monica Municipal Airport at about 6:20 p.m. and struck the hangar, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The fire destroyed the hangar, Santa Monica Fire Department spokeswoman Bridgett Lewis said.

“It was a total loss,” Lewis said.

The blaze did minor damage to two other buildings and several units were in defensive mode to keep it from spreading further, Lewis said.

It was not immediately clear how many people were on the plane or whether anyone was inside the hangar, and there was no immediate word on any injuries or deaths.

A plume of smoke rising above the airport could be seen in the surrounding neighborhood.

Santa Monica Airport, located in the coastal tourist destination known for its trendy bars, restaurants and wooden-pier carnival, is home to many private jets, many of them used by wealthy Southern Californians from the entertainment industry.

The airport in Hailey serves Idaho’s Sun Valley resort area, which is a frequent destination for many celebrities, and the rich and powerful alike.

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