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Federal agencies investigate fatal Lake Elsinore plane crash

Two federal agencies investigate plane crash near Lake Elsinore that killed 3
Plane that went down near Lake Elsinore appeared to have crashed into hillside, officials say
Deadly plane crash near Lake Elsinore set off small brush fire

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating a plane crash near Lake Elsinore that killed three people and started a small brush fire.

The plane appeared to have crashed into a hillside, said officials with the NTSB. The agency said it will send an investigator to the site to piece together the final moments of the flight, using wreckage and any recoverable electronic evidence.

Firefighters were called to an area in the Santa Ana Mountains off Ortega Highway at 9:22 a.m. Sunday and found the wreckage of a Piper PA28 Cherokee airplane, Riverside County fire officials said.

Crews took to the air and ground to attack the brush fire and extinguished the flames in about an hour, officials said.

The Riverside County Fire Department confirmed three fatalities aboard the plane but had not released their names.

The post-crash fire consumed the plane wreckage, according to the NTSB, but enough evidence should remain to determine details about the crash. 

For breaking news in Los Angeles and the Southland, follow @Caitlin__Owens, or email her at caitlin.owens@latimes.com

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