Santa Monica plane crash kills all aboard

Construction CEO Mark Benjamin and his son Luke are believed to be two of the people aboard a small jet that crashed into an airport hangar in Southern California Sunday night.
Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Sept. 30, 2013 at 4:25 PM   |   Comments

Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The CEO of a Southern California building company and his son were believed to be aboard a small jet that crashed into a hangar at Santa Monica airport Sunday night.

"While we do not have specific facts, we believe that our President and CEO, Mark Benjamin, and his son, Luke Benjamin, a Senior Project Engineer with us were on board," said Charles Muttillo, vice president of Morley Builders in Santa Monica in a statement Monday.

Authorities were unable to reach the plane in the aftermath of the crash and subsequent fire, fearful of firefighters' safety entering the unstable hangar, and they said the crash was "unsurvivable."

The twin-engine Cessna Citation was landing at Santa Monica airport around 6:20 p.m. Sunday when it ran off the runway and slammed into the hangar, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor. An airport employee who witnessed the crash said one of the plane's tires appeared to burst.

The plane was flying in from Hailey, Idaho. Mark Benjamin, 63, owned the plane and was a certified pilot.

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