(Reuters) - Officials in California said on Sunday they had found debris from a small plane crash and there were no signs of survivors, just hours after an aircraft went missing from radar.
The debris was found in an orchard in the city of Bakersfield, some 115 miles northwest of Los Angeles, around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Kern County Sheriff Commander Shaun Beasley said.
"It did not appear to be a survivable crash," Beasley said, though he declined to say whether any victims were found or how many people were believed to be on board.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesman Ian Gregor said a single-engine Piper PA32 aircraft had disappeared from radar about 10 miles south of Bakersfield around 4 p.m. while en route to the Henderson Executive Airport near Las Vegas, Nevada.
Beasley said he could not confirm it was that plane which had crashed, but said the debris was consistent with such an aircraft. He said the weather was overcast and rainy in the area.
Beasley said officials at Los Angeles International Airport had advised local authorities that a pilot had issued a mayday call before falling out of contact near Bakersfield.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing, Beasley said, adding that the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were slated to arrive on Sunday.
(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by David Holmes)