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The plane's pilot and a 12-year-old girl were among those killed while people were celebrating the country's independence day.
The twin-engined Cessna 310 crashed into the picnic area of Frank Bonelli Park around 1235 hours (local time) on Thursday shortly after taking off from a nearby airport.
It hit a tree and then broke in two after it crashed, witnesses said.
The pilot and the girl, who was trapped under a wing of the plane, died in hospital while another person was killed at the accident site.
Several of those injured were in critical condition, fire department spokesman Capt Mark Savage said.
A passenger on the four-seater plane survived, authorities said adding scuba divers were searching water bodies for other possible victims.
FAA officials said the plane never gained altitude after taking off from the Brackett Field airport and added the crash 'looked like an accident'.
The Bonelli Park, about 48 km east of Los Angeles, is a favourite picnic destination.
Earlier, CNN reported that the pilot said he had trouble climbing and issued a mayday distress call.
The incident happened about an hour after a shootout at nearby Los Angeles international airport, in which three people were killed.
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