PALO ALTO, CA - Three employees of the electric automaker Tesla Motors were killed on Wednesday, Feb. 17, when the small twin-engine plane they were flying in crashed in a East Palo Alto, Calif., residential neighborhood engulfed in thick fog. 

The victims were Tesla employees Doug Bourn, 56; Brian Finn, 42; and Andrew Ingram, 31. They were the only occupants of the plane, which was owned by Bourn. 

The crash, which occurred shortly before 8 a.m., also damaged four houses and five vehicles but didn't seriously injure anyone on the ground, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

The plane crashed shortly after taking off from Palo Alto Airport. It was headed for Hawthorne, a city near Los Angeles where the company has operations. Tesla headquarters are in San Carlos, Calif.

"Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with their families," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a statement posted on the company Web site. "Tesla is a small, tightly-knit company and this is a tragic loss for us."

The cause of the crash is under investigation.