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3 people killed in small plane crash in Agua Dulce; 3 horses also killed [Updated]

October 21, 2010 |  7:11 pm

A small single-engine plane crashed next to a barn in Agua Dulce on Thursday afternoon, killing at least three people and three horses, authorities said.

The Cirrus SR-22 was flying from Van Nuys Airport to Parker, Ariz., when it came down about 12:20 p.m. about one mile west of the Agua Dulce Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Ian Gregor, an FAA spokesman, said at least two people were killed in the plane, which caught fire after crashing. It was unknown where the other victim was when the crash occurred.

[Corrected, 8:21 p.m.: A previous version of this post said four people were killed. Los Angeles County coroner's officials now say the number is three.]

Cirrus SR-22s are equipped with a large parachute that will slow the plane and lower it to the ground in case of emergency, but it was not reported Thursday evening whether the chute had been used.

Two of the horses were killed by flying debris and a third had to be euthanized because of serious injuries. Another horse was hurt but is expected to survive, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s officials.

Agua Dulce, which is known for the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area, is north of Santa Clarita and about 45 miles from Los Angeles.

Authorities have not released the names of the victims because their relatives have not been notified.

Gregor said the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.

Flames from the plane spread to the nearby barn but because of the rainy weather the fire posed little threat and was quickly extinguished, said Matt Levesque, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

-- Dan Weikel