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Aircraft Collision in L.A., Sparking Overnight Search

The search continues for potential survivors and remnants of an aircraft collision that the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed over the ocean on Friday afternoon off the coast of San Pedro, California.

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Los Angeles/Long Beach Sector received a bystander’s initial report that a small aircraft had entered the water around 3 p.m. on Friday. The L.A. Times reported that the occupants of a private fishing boat called in the alert that they saw the plane hit the sea.

Responders immediately launched a 45-foot boat, along with an MG-65 and assets from partner agencies, in a coordinated effort to search for the aircraft, according to the USCG. The Times identified an area just a couple of miles south from the Port of Long Beach as the start of the search area.

Shortly after the search began, USCG closed the Los Angeles Harbor entrance to all vessel traffic in an effort to keep the search area clear.

Within a few hours of being notified of the incident, USCG confirmed that two aircraft were involved in a crash. Los Angeles Police Department divers initiated an underwater recovery search.

In the hours following the crash a Unified Command involving USCG, L.A. County Sheriffs and the L.A. Fire Department searched an area that has been expanded to approximately 200 square miles.

USCG Petty Officer Andrea Anderson briefed reporters that a piece of an aircraft was found with the tail number intact, according to the Times. The search continued into the night for the remains of the planes and possible survivors. The number of passengers between the two planes was not known at the time of the Friday briefing. No survivors had yet been found at that time.

The U.S. Coast Guard Twitter account is posting some updates as search results develop.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana

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