5 deaths confirmed in Tahoe-area plane crash

By the Associated Press | August 27, 2012 | 6:36 PM EDT

This photo provided by the City of South Lake Tahoe shows authorities at the scene of a plane that crashed shortly after takeoff on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012 from Lake Tahoe Airport. A small, single-engine plane crashed on Lake Tahoe's south shore, and authorities say several people were killed. (AP Photo/City of South Lake Tahoe)

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — Investigators are confirming that five people were killed when a single-engine plane crashed near the South Lake Tahoe airport over the weekend.

Witnesses say the plane appeared to have engine trouble shortly after takeoff Saturday night. The crash started a fire, and the plane was destroyed.

El Dorado County sheriff's Lt. Pete Van Arnum says five bodies were removed from the wreckage Sunday, and autopsies are being done Monday.

Van Arnum says it will take at least a couple days to confirm the victims' identities.

The aircraft is registered to Francisco J. Delamora, of Fresno, Calif. An employee at Delamora's Fresno, Calif., trucking company says Delamora flew to Lake Tahoe with his wife, a 7-year-old daughter and two friends.

Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigators are at the crash site.