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Small plane crashes into Tennessee lake, at least 1 killed

Posted at 9:13 PM, May 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-29 22:13:33-04

SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) — A small plane carrying seven people crashed into a Tennessee lake on Saturday, and at least one person was killed, authorities said.

A Cessna C501 jet crashed into Percy Priest Lake near Smyrna after taking off from a nearby airport about 11 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement Saturday.

Search crews found a debris field and identified parts of the airplane in the lake, Rutherford County Fire Rescue Capt. Joshua Sanders said during an afternoon news conference.

It was not immediately known if there were any additional deaths or injuries. The person who was killed was not immediately being identified, said Ashley McDonald, public information officer for Rutherford County.

Authorities were not immediately releasing registration information for the plane, which was heading from Smyrna Rutherford County Airport to Palm Beach International Airport.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said it was helping the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office in a search and rescue operation. Crews plan to continue the search through the night, Sanders said.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol told news outlets that a witness saw the plane go into the water near a marina.

The National Transportation Safety Board was sending an investigator to the scene.

Smyrna is located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of Nashville. Percy Priest Lake is a reservoir created by the J. Percy Priest Dam. It is a popular spot for boating and fishing.

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