2 planes collide midair, plunge into ocean off Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) — Two small planes collided over the ocean just outside Los Angeles Harbor and plunged into the water Friday, prompting a massive search by dozens of boats and divers. As darkness fell there was no sign of survivors.

The Coast Guard said the collision occurred at about 3:30 p.m. on a dazzlingly sunny day. Investigators had no immediate word on what might have caused the accident or the number of people aboard the two planes.

Fire and lifeguard boats and rescue divers swarmed the area about two miles outside the entrance to the harbor, where water depths were 80 feet to 90 feet.

Los Angeles County lifeguard Capt. Ken Haskett said some debris that included the full tail number for one plane and partial number of the other was located.

The crash site was a quarter-mile south of the Angels Gate light, a lighthouse at the San Pedro Breakwater that is on the National Register of Historic Places. The area is popular for flight students and there were many planes in the crystal clear skies at the time of the accident.

The nearby harbor entrance was closed to traffic while the search continued.


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