The Santa Monica Airport is closed while police investigate a deadly crash involving a small plane, airport manager Stelios Makrides told TheWrap.
A twin-engine Cessna Citation 525A plane struck a hangar and burst into flames on Sunday night. Police and fire department officials have yet to release the names of the victims, but the plane was registered to Mark Benjamin, president and CEO of Morley Builders.
Morely Builders counts 20th Century Fox, the Huntington Library and the Geffen Playhouse among its clients.
Charley Muttillo, a vice president at the 200-person construction company, told TheWrap the company “had reason to believe” Benjamin, 63, and his 28-year-old son Luke Benjamin were on board. Luke Benjamin was a senior project engineer with the company.
A Santa Monica Fire Department Capt. John Nevandro told media that the crash was “unsurvivable.” Muttillo said the company has been in touch with Benjamin’s family, but has yet to talk directly to authorities. He said Benjamin maintains a home in Idaho and was returning from a trip to the state.
Spokespeople for the Santa Monica police and fire departments did not respond to requests for comment. Makrides said the airport will remain closed until “further notice.”