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3 Tesla Employees Killed En Route by Air to Hawthorne

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Three employees of Tesla Motors were killed today in a twin-engine plane crash that took place shortly after takeoff this morning above East Palo Alto, according to the Daily Breeze.

The small aircraft, registered to Doug Bourn, who is senior electrical engineer at the electric car company, was bound for Hawthorne. Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman explained that the Cessna 310 "struck a power transmission line after takeoff and broke apart, sending debris raining down," into the neighborhood. The debris sparked fires in homes and vehicles.

"A wing fell onto one house where a children's day-care center is operated. The rest of the plane struck the front retaining wall of another house down the street before landing on two vehicles on the street," according to Schapelhouman. All three occupants of the plane, identified so far only as employees of Tesla, were killed, and while all occupants of the homes in the crash area "have been accounted for" the "authorities can't be sure of the fatality count until crews begin clearing the wreckage."

Tesla has indicated the victims were "a senior manager and two engineers," notes the Silicon Alley Insider and that "Tesla CEO Elon Musk, former co-founder of Paypal, was not on the plane."