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2-Year-Old Girl and Parents Use Parachute to Survive Plane Crash with 'Minor Cuts and Scratches'

The family's small aircraft lost engine power shortly after take-off and landed in a 'heavily wooded area' in Whitethorn, California

<p>Shelter Cove Fire/instagram</p> Santa Rosa residents survive plane crash in Whitethorn, California.

Shelter Cove Fire/instagram

Santa Rosa residents survive plane crash in Whitethorn, California.

A family of three — including a 2-year-old girl — survived a plane crash with only minor cuts and scratches Friday after their aircraft's parachute system lowered them to safety.

According to a release from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office (MCSO), the incident happened when the aircraft lost engine power about five minutes after take-off and descended into some trees near Whitethorn, California.

Deputies were dispatched to the possible crash in the area at around 1:15 p.m. after the pilot "noticed the plane's altitude was too low for recovery," added the release. He then "deployed the airplane's Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) which slowed the airplane's [descent]."

"The parachute carried the airplane until it ultimately crashed into trees in a heavily wooded area of Yellow Road in Whitethorn, CA," the MCSO added.

Related: Austin Hatch—Who Survived 2 Plane Crashes That Killed His Family—Becomes a Dad: 'Grateful' (Exclusive)

Shelter Cove Fire Department said in a statement posted to Instagram that "Despite the challenging terrain, all three occupants of the aircraft sustained only minor injuries, thanks to the aircraft's built-in parachute system.

"This incident marks the second small plane crash that Shelter Cove Fire Department has responded to in the last two years. Fortunately, both incidents resulted in minor injuries and no fatalities, although two aircraft were destroyed."

<p>Shelter Cove Fire/instagram</p> Santa Rosa residents survive plane crash in Whitethorn, California.

Shelter Cove Fire/instagram

Santa Rosa residents survive plane crash in Whitethorn, California.

Related: Man Rescued After 9 Hours When Small Plane Crashes in the Florida Everglades

"Even with the parachute the parties involved were extremely fortunate to only receive minor injuries," the statement added.

Photographs released by the Fire Department show the wrecked plane and parachute caught up in the trees about 100 feet from the ground.

"These are usually worst-case scenarios. The fact that they had only minor scratches and abrasions is a miracle," Mendocino County Sheriff's spokesperson Capt. Quincy Cromer said, per KGO-TV.

The outlet, CBS News, and KNTV all confirmed the passengers — which included two adults aged 38 — were a family. MCSO didn't immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for further information.

<p>Shelter Cove Fire/instagram</p> Santa Rosa residents survive plane crash in Whitethorn, California.

Shelter Cove Fire/instagram

Santa Rosa residents survive plane crash in Whitethorn, California.

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Deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, the California Highway Patrol, CalFire, Southern Humboldt Tech Rescue, and members of the Whale Gulch, Shelter Cove, and Whitethorn Fire Departments assisted in the rescue.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident, MCSO confirmed.

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