2 killed in small plane crash in Southern California

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LOS ANGELES, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Two people were killed Thursday after a small plane crashed at Santa Monica Airport in the western U.S. state of California, authorities said.

The Santa Monica Fire Department said in a news release that it responded to the crash at 4:25 p.m. local time (2325 GMT).

"Firefighters encountered a single engine aircraft that crashed in the infield and was engulfed in flames," said the fire department, adding that the aircraft was inbound to the airport when it touched down and made an abrupt upward maneuver before crashing in the infield.

Officials confirmed that both people aboard died.

The aircraft was a Piper Sport two-seat single engine aircraft, operated by a local flight school, said the fire department.

The two victims -- a flight instructor and a student -- were killed in an introductory flight, reported City News Service, a regional wire service covering Southern California.

The instructor reportedly worked at the Santa Monica-based flight school Santa Monica Flyers, said the report.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident. Enditem

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