UPDATED: 5:18 p.m.
Two passengers escaped a single-plane crash with minor to moderate injuries Sunday afternoon, after their plane went down on campus near the intersection of Zelzah and Plummer.
The plane’s occupants, a man and woman who were both believed to be in their 60s, were headed towards the Van Nuys airport for an emergency landing. They were transported to Northridge Hospital as a precaution, according to firefighter Rick Tanguay, who was among the first-responders with Battalion 70 of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
“They were really lucky,” Tanguay said. “The pilot gets to chalk that up to a good landing, I guess.”
The plane, a single-engine Cessna 206, went down due to engine failure, according to Ian Gregor, a spokesman from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The identities of the plane’s occupants were not released by officials investigating the crash.
“(I was thinking), ‘This isn’t real,’” said Erick Rodriguez, a 20-year-old Pierce College student who said he saw the plane go down while he was driving northbound on Zelzah on his way home from church.
“I threw the car in park and grabbed my friend and we ran over as fast as we could,” Rodriguez said.
The plane was leaking fuel and there were a small amount of flames, Rodriguez said. The flames died down quickly, prompting Rodriguez and his friend to run over to the crash site and help the couple.
The woman was described as having no visible wounds, although she seemed “discombobulated,” according to Rodriguez. The male occupant who was thought to be the pilot, was bleeding profusely from his face, but he seemed to be more concerned with the health of his female passenger, Rodriguez said.
The plane was heading from Novato to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, according to Fire Chief Mark Saxelby of Battalion 70.
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Bureau, Saxelby said.