WATSONVILLE, Calif., July 8 (UPI) -- Four people died in a single-engine plane crash near a hospital in Watsonville, Calif., the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday.
The NTSB could not verify a report that two of the victims were children, the San Jose Mercury News said.
Just before 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the small aircraft crashed into a parking lot at Watsonville Community Hospital, careened into a medical office building and burst into flames, witnesses said.
Authorities quickly put out the fire, and the hospital was not evacuated, police said.
"No one on the ground was injured because the physicians' offices were closed for the day," hospital spokeswoman Cindy Wiegelt told CNN.
Witness George Benson, a pilot, told the Sacramento Bee he saw the plane take off from the Watsonville Municipal Airport.
"He was heading toward the coast and tried to climb," Benson said. "From the time he took off, he was going too steep, too slow. He didn't have any time for recovery."
Airport manager Don French confirmed the plane was local.
The tail number indicates it is registered to David Houghton, a principal at A Plus Environmental Solutions in Santa Cruz. It was not immediately determined whether Houghton was aboard.