A plane crash in California has killed three employees of Tesla Motors, the electric car venture led by private spaceflight pioneer Elon Musk, according to local news reports.
The twin-engine Cessna crashed into a residential neighborhood in East Palo Alto, Calif., and was bound for Hawthorne Municipal Airport in Southern California, according to KTVU Channel 2 news. No injuries on the ground were reported.
Tesla Motors has a design studio in Hawthorne, which is also home to Musk?s Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) company. Musk is the CEO of Tesla Motors, which is developing a high-performance electric family sedan called the Model S.
Early reports suggest the plane took off in heavy fog, with mechanical failure or poor visibility most likely causing the crash, according to news reports.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Tesla Motors officials could not immediately confirm the identities of the plane?s passengers.
"I can?t confirm any of the details," Tesla Motors spokesperson Khobi Brooklyn told the Los Angeles Times.
Entrepreneur Elon Musk co-founded the online payment service PayPal and founded SpaceX in 2002 to build commercial rockets capable of launching payloads into orbit.
SpaceX has successfully launched the two-stage Falcon 1 rocket to orbit five times, most recently in 2009 with a commercial satellite aboard.
The commercial spaceflight firm is currently preparing for the debut launch of its larger Falcon 9 rocket, which is designed to launch an unmanned Dragon cargo ship into orbit to ferry supplies to the International Space Station for NASA.
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