updated 5/19/2009 10:23:15 AM ET 2009-05-19T14:23:15

The Coast Guard said crews were searching for at least three people Tuesday in the wreckage of two small planes that collided off the coast of Southern California.

Coast Guard Capt. Paul Wiedenhoeft said Tuesday that the crews of rescue boats were combing two debris fields found in the water five miles south of the Long Beach Breakwater.

Wiedenhoeft says a pilot reported seeing the collision Monday evening.

Wiedenhoeft said one of the planes was a Cessna 172 that took off from Long Beach with an instructor and a student pilot aboard.

He said the other was a low-wing, twin-engine aircraft, but he did not know if there was more than one person aboard.

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