'Multiple Fatalities' Reported After 2 Planes Collide Mid-Air Above Calif. Airport: City Officials

·2 min read
'Multiple Fatalities' Reported After 2 Planes Collide Mid-Air Above Calif. Airport: City Officials

Multiple people have died after two small planes collided mid-air in Watsonville, California, on Thursday, officials said.

"Multiple agencies responded to Watsonville Municipal Airport after 2 planes attempting to land collided. We have reports of multiple fatalities," read a tweet posted to the City of Watsonville's official Twitter page. "Report came in at 2:56pm. Investigation is underway, updates to follow."

In a statement to PEOPLE, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said a single-engine Cessna 152 and a twin-engine Cessna 340 collided while the pilots were "on their final approaches" to Watsonville Municipal Airport, located about 50 miles south of San Jose.

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This photo provided by KION-TV shows multiple agencies responding to Watsonville Municipal Airport, northwest of Watsonville, in Santa Cruz County, Calif. after 2 planes attempting to land collided on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Two planes collided in Northern California while trying to land at a local airport and at least two of the three occupants were killed. (KION-TV via AP)
This photo provided by KION-TV shows multiple agencies responding to Watsonville Municipal Airport, northwest of Watsonville, in Santa Cruz County, Calif. after 2 planes attempting to land collided on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. Two planes collided in Northern California while trying to land at a local airport and at least two of the three occupants were killed. (KION-TV via AP)

KION-TV/AP

"One person was on board the Cessna 152 and two people were on board the Cessna 340. No injuries were reported to anyone on the ground," the statement continued, adding that the FAA will investigate the crash with the help of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

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PEOPLE has reached out to the NTSB for comment, but did not immediately hear back.

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Watsonville Police and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) are among the agencies assisting with the investigation, according to CBS affiliate KION46 and ABC News.

"We have responded to an aircraft collision in the area of the Watsonville Municipal Airport on Aviation Way. We have the scene secured with the help of Watsonville PD," the SCSO wrote in a Facebook post Thursday afternoon.

Watsonville Police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

As of publication, none of the victims have been identified.

"We are absolutely saddened to hear about the tragic incident that took the lives of several people. The City of Watsonville sends its deepest condolences to the friends and family of those who passed," read another tweet from the City of Watsonville.

"We are grieving tonight from this unexpected and sudden loss," said City of Watsonville Mayor Ari Parker. "I want to express my deepest and most heartfelt condolences."