IRVINE, Calif. (CBS) A small, twin-engine plane has crashed on the 405 freeway outside Los Angeles, CBS Los Angeles reports.
The crash was first reported at 10 a.m.
The two people on board the plane, a man and a woman said to be in their 50s and 60s, were conscious immediately after the crash. Paramedics transported the victims to a hospital for treatment of major injuries.
“Information that we have is that their injuries were not life threatening,” John Wayne Airport spokeswoman Deanne Thompson said.
The captain, who was not injured, helped pull the victims out of the plane. Authorities were not aware of any injuries on the ground.
A statement from the FAA said that the pilot declared an emergency shortly after taking off from John Wayne Airport and was trying to return to the airport.
The airport tweeted that the nearby freeway has been closed in both directions “due to debris on the roadway.”
405 Freeway closed in both directions at MacArthur, due to debris on the roadway. #FlyJWA
— John Wayne Airport (@JohnWayneAir) June 30, 2017
The airport will remained closed to arrivals for a brief period of time. A passer-by shared a photo of the crash with his followers on Twitter.
Small aircraft crashed on 405 at John Wayne #crash #johnwayne #405 pic.twitter.com/aQSOwtuSZi
— Rafi Mamalian (@rafimama) June 30, 2017
Miles Madison said he was driving near the airport and witnessed the crash.
“While I was driving nearby the airport on Red Hill, I heard an urgent call that came across the air traffic control frequencies by a pilot. It was very urgent. You can hear his voice crackling. He says, ‘May Day.’ From that point on the air traffic controller very calmly takes over,” Madison said.
The unusual sight made him stop his car on an overpass and get out with his camera.
“I see the aircraft in a position that’s not normal, he’s actually perpendicular to the runway, as if he missed the approach and took an abort to the right,” Madison said.
The crash happened Friday morning, just as the Fourth of July holiday travel rush is getting underway.
The incident remains under investigation.
WINK News streamed live footage from the scene on Facebook: