'It's horrible,' Riverside official describes plane crash involving South Bay family

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KGO) -- Three people are confirmed dead after a small plane crashed into a neighborhood in Riverside, California. Officials say two adult women survived the crash and are being treated at a nearby hospital.

RELATED: 3 dead after small plane crashes into So Cal neighborhood

The plane departed from Riverside Monday evening and was on its way to San Jose when it crashed into homes near the airport. We're learning more about the South Bay family who was on board.

A neighbor, who is cat sitting for the pilot and his wife, tells ABC7 News that they were attending their granddaughter's cheerleading competition due to return home to their San Jose home Monday afternoon.

A fireball raged through the homes even as firefighters looked for victims.

Fire officials say two homes are destroyed and the airplane is in pieces.

"Upon impact, the plane pretty much split apart and luckily she was ejected," said Riverside Fire Chief Michael Moore. "And very minor injuries even though we're treating her as a critical patient."

Moore says there were five people on the plane. The names of the victims on board haven't been released, but the pilot's neighbor in San Jose tells us he and his wife left for Southern California Friday to attend their granddaughter's cheerleading competition. The neighbor says the pilot is in his 70s and very experienced.

"It's horrible, especially when you couple together that they were going to a cheer competition, a happy time, and then just to have a tragic incident like this," Moore added.

Riverside officials say they've accounted for everyone on the ground. The NTSB is investigating the cause of the crash.
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