Five people were killed in a plane crash south of Bakersfield, California.
The private jet had taken off from a San Jose airport and went down south of Bakersfield, Kern County Sheriff’s Department said.
The accident occurred after the pilot sent a mayday call and the plane disappeared from the radar. Hours later, debris belonging to the aircraft was discovered scattered across a quarter mile in a central California orchard. Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board officials arrived at the scene Sunday to find out what caused the crash.
“The aircraft is in a debris field … in an almond orchard, so it’s going to take a lot of footwork to conduct the investigation,” Sgt. Mark King with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said. “We do not expect to have positive identification of the passengers until Monday.”
According to CNN, a single-engine Piper PA-32 went missing from the radar at about 4 p.m. Saturday. A statement from the FAA said that the plane was traveling from Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose, California, to Henderson Executive Airport, outside Las Vegas in Clark County, Nevada. The debris from the aircraft were located three hours after the mayday call was received by the sheriff’s office at about 4:30 p.m.
When the plane went off radar, the Central California area was cloudy and rainy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford said. The bodies from the accident have been recovered, and the coroner’s office is in the process of identifying them, according to Sgt. King. He added that determining who the victims were could take up to two days, as reported by NBC News.