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`Multiple victims' in small plane crash at Tahoe

Joyce Lupiani

`Multiple victims' in small plane crash at Tahoe

CREATED Aug. 27, 2012

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) -- Authorities say "multiple victims" were killed when a small plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the South Lake Tahoe airport.

El Dorado County sheriff's Lt. Pete Van Arnum says the plane burst into flames upon impact late Saturday night, and started a one-acre fire that took over 90 minutes to put out.

He says much of the wreckage was destroyed by the fire, making identification of the plane and victims difficult.

Witnesses say the plane had apparent engine problems, and dipped downward while attempting a turn.

According to the FAA, the aircraft is registered to Francisco J. De La Mora of Fresno.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the same plane was involved in a 2005 non-injury crash in Destin, Fla.