Citation Hits Hangar At SMO (Corrected)

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Photo: Valerie Vanderwest

Photo: Valerie Vanderwest

A Cessna Citation was involved in a landing accident at Santa Monica Airport Sunday evening but details were scant at our deadline. FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told NBC the aircraft ran off the right side of a runway and hit a hangar. There was a significant post-crash fire. Fire officials told the station the crash was not survivable but did not say how many people were on board. The flight originated in Hailey, Idaho. The aircraft is registered to a real estate company whose owner lives in Malibu according to the L.A. Times. Winds were light and skies clear at the time of the accident.

The crash is bound to heat up the debate on the future of the airport, which has been a hot button political issue in Los Angeles for years. While the courts have consistently upheld the urban-locked facility's right to exist, based on its long association with FAA grant money, some local officials have been trying to get it closed for decades, citing safety, noise and pollution concerns. The airport was in a largely undeveloped area when it was established but is now crowded on all sides by homes and businesses.