At Least 3 Killed in Catalina Island Plane Crash

SANTA CATALINA ISLAND, Calif. -- A private plane crashed Monday near the airport on Santa Catalina Island, killing three people and leaving the fourth occupant in critical condition, authorities said.

The single-engine Mooney M20J crashed about three-quarters of a mile off the departure end of Runway 22 at 1:15 p.m., sparking a small brush fire, said Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration.

"We believe it was taking off," Gregor said.

He said FAA investigators would be at the crash site by Tuesday morning, and investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were scheduled to arrive Monday evening.

The survivor was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in critical condition, authorities said.

Authorities did not immediately release the names, genders or ages of the occupants of the plane, or its destination.

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