Small plane crashes in Southern California parking lot; 5 killed, authorities say

Five people were killed Sunday when a twin-engine plane crashed into a Southern California parking lot, authorities said.

The Cessna 414 Chancellor crashed in Santa Ana, approximately a mile from John Wayne Airport, according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokeswoman Arlene Salac. She added that the pilot of the aircraft had declared an emergency shortly before the crash.

Orange County Fire Authority Captain Steve Concialdi said the plane struck an unoccupied car on the lot, which services a Staples store and a CVS pharmacy. Concialdi added that no one on the ground was hurt and there was no fire.

Photos from the scene showed the plane upright but on its belly. Several roads surrounding the shopping center and the South Coast Plaza mall across the street were closed.

The plane is registered to the San Francisco-based real estate company Category III, according to an FAA database. It was not immediately clear from where the flight originated and a phone call to the company was not immediately returned Sunday.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash, Salac said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.