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2 planes collide while landing in western California; 'multiple fatalities' reported

Two planes collided Thursday afternoon while attempting to land at the Watsonville Municipal Airport. Photo courtesy of City of Watsonville/<a href="https://twitter.com/WatsonvilleCity/status/1560395507599454209?s=20&amp;t=PaAz0_Ja4uiMVRBjgfZjEA">Twitter</a>
Two planes collided Thursday afternoon while attempting to land at the Watsonville Municipal Airport. Photo courtesy of City of Watsonville/Twitter

Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Officials said several people were killed when two planes collided while attempting to land at an airport in western California.

The collision happened shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday at Watsonville Municipal Airport, located about 45 miles south of San Jose.

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"We have reports of multiple fatalities," the City of Watsonville said in a statement. "Investigation is underway."

The National Transportation Safety Board said via Twitter that it was investigating the collision while identify the aircraft involved as a Cessna 152 and a Cessna 340A.

The number of people aboard the planes nor the number of casualties were immediately clear, but the city said it was sending out its "deepest condolences" to the friends and family of those who died.

"We are grieving tonight from this unexpected and sudden loss," Watsonville mayor Ari Parker said in a statement. "I want to express my deepest and most heartfelt condolences."

Along with the NTSB, the Federal Aviation Administration said it was investigating the collision while the Santa Cruse County Sheriff's Office said it was on the scene.

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