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Plane Crashes Into House Near Monterey Regional Airport; Pilot Feared Dead

MONTEREY (CBS SF) -- A small plane crashed into a home near Monterey Regional Airport Tuesday morning, starting a fire that severely damaged the home and burned the surrounding hillside.

The crash was reported at around 10:45 a.m. near Highway 68 in the Monterra Ranch subdivision.

KION reported family members confirmed Mary Ellen Carlin of Pacific Grove was the owner of the Cessna 421 that crashed and that she was piloting the plane at the time of the crash. She was unaccounted for as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration did not yet have information about the number of people on board nor reports of injuries of people on the ground.

Monterey County Regional Fire District Deputy Fire Marshal Dorothy Priollo said additional engines were requested as the house fire extended into the brush and the fire was contained to less than an acre. No other homes were affected in the crash, Priolo said.

Chris Bourquin, the acting chief of police of Del Rey Oaks, which also covers the airport, described the crash as "not survivable," the Monterey Herald reported.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

The homeowner, Roger Goulart, said his daughter was at work at the time of the impact. Goulart, who is from the San Francisco Bay Area, uses the house as a second home.

"My wife and kids weren't there," said Goulart. "I feel bad for the poor people on the plane. But they lost a lot more than we did, for sure."

A piece of the aircraft was found on Silver Cloud Court, more than a mile away. It's unclear if the debris was thrown from the wreckage, or fell off the place prior to crashing.

Monterra Ranch is a gated community with luxury homes in the hills, about two miles southeast of the Monterey Regional Airport.

Monterey plane crash
A house burns after a small plane crashed into near the Monterey Regional Airport, July 13, 2021. (Monterey County Regional Fire District)

A caretaker for the Monterra Association saw the crash, The Monterey County Weekly reported.

"I saw the plane fly very low and heard some of the trees crackling," he told the Weekly. "Then the plane hit the house. Went right into the living room."

Other agencies responding to the incident were the Monterey and Seaside fire departments as well as Cal Fire.

Kiet Do contributed to this report.

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