Prominent Indian-origin cardiologist killed in California plane crash

New York: A small plane owned by a prominent Indian-origin cardiologist crashed in California, killing two persons, including the physician, and causing a major fire that engulfed nearby homes and left a swath of destruction, according to media reports. 

Dr Sugata Das, who worked as an Interventional Cardiologist at Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC) in Arizona, owned the twin-engine Cessna C340 aircraft, media reports said. However, there’s no confirmation whether Das was the pilot at the time of the crash on Monday,, a CBS/NBC-affiliated TV station, reported on Tuesday.

“We are deeply sad to hear news of a plane owned by local cardiologist Sugata Das, which crashed near Santee (California),” YRMC’s Chief Medical Officer Bharat Magu said in a statement. 

“As an outstanding cardiologist and dedicated family man, Das leaves a lasting legacy. We extend our prayers and support to his family, colleagues, and friends during this difficult time,” Magu said about the Pune-born doctor. 

The crash near Santana High School in Santee, a suburb of some 50,000 people, appeared to have sparked a fire that burned at least two homes, damaged five others and several vehicles, but responding firefighters were able to put out the blaze before it spread to other houses. 

Another person who died was a UPS worker who was on the ground. 

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