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Small plane crashes on Catalina Island after pilot reports he may be having heart attack

July 1, 2010 |  2:09 pm

A small plane crashed on Santa Catalina Island Thursday afternoon after the pilot reported he was possibly suffering a heart attack, officials said.

The plane was approaching the runway of Catalina's Airport in the Sky and crashed about 2 miles away in heavy mountain terrain near Echo Lake, said Lt. Jeff Donahue of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Avalon Station.

The unidentified aircraft burst into flames, and firefighters are trying to contain the slow-moving fire, Donahue said.

"It's hard to access right now because of the terrain," he said.

It was unclear how many people were on the aircraft and whether there are any survivors, Donahue said.

The crash did not injure anyone on the ground, and there are no homes or structures nearby, Donahue said. He said there are youth camps nearby that may have to be evacuated soon if the fire comes nearer.

-- My-Thuan Tran