Plane wreckage
A firefighter waves onlookers away from the plane’s wreckage in El Cajon. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A small plane crashed and burned in an El Cajon parking lot shortly after takeoff Sunday, sending three people to a hospital.

The plane had just left Gillespie Field when the pilot reported engine trouble and attempted to turn back, said Mark Casey, a spokesman for Heartland Fire and Rescue.

The plane went down just before 10 a.m. near the intersection of Cuyamaca Street and Marshall Avenue, Casey said. That’s one block away from the airport.

Firefighters found that the crash site was actually in the parking lot of a business on nearby Gillespie Way, he said.

The plane struck a light pole and ended up against a fence between two buildings leaking fuel caught fire, and the wreckage became engulfed in flames, Casey said.

Three people inside were all able to escape, and were taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, he said. The extent of their injuries was unknown.

Casey said two Cox Cable Company vehicles were parked near the crash site and sustained damage.

The Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the incident, he said.

It was the second crash of a small plane in the San Diego area in little more than a week. Last Saturday, two people were killed when a plane taking off from Montgomery Field experienced engine trouble and crashed into a home in Clairemont.

–City News Service, staff

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.