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Two dead in Ventura County plane crash

July 3, 2011 | 11:33 pm

Two people died Sunday night when a small plane crashed in a remote area of Ventura County.

The plane took off from Santa Paula Airport shortly before 8:30 p.m. and crashed in a riverbed a short distance away in the unincorporated community of South Mountain, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. The plane appeared to have clipped an electric wire, officials said.

Two people were on board. One of the victims was found dead in the wreckage; the other was found a short distance away. Their identities were not released.

Federal transportation officials have launched an investigation, county officials said.

Firefighters initially had to hike to the crash site, but were later able to get emergency vehicles close to the wreckage.

The airport is about 15 miles northeast of Oxnard.

--- Scott Gold