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At least 1 dead after plane crashes into lake in Tennessee with 7 people aboard


(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — At least one person is confirmed dead after a small jet carrying seven people crashed into a Tennessee lake Saturday morning, authorities said.

The plane was heading from Smyrna Airport in Rutherford County, near Nashville, to Palm Beach International Airport in Florida when it crashed into Percy Priest Lake around 11 a.m., officials said.

The aircraft was a Cessna Citation 501 airplane, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. In a preliminary statement, the Federal Aviation Administration said there were seven people aboard the plane.

Ashley McDonald, the spokesperson for the Rutherford County government, told reporters during a press briefing Saturday evening that local authorities did not know who was on board. She said they know who the plane was registered to, but “at this time we will not be releasing that information as it is part of the active investigation.”

Search efforts were expected to continue throughout the night, Rutherford County Fire Rescue Captain Joshua Sanders said during the briefing. He could not say whether the body of the confirmed fatality had been recovered.

Multiple agencies on scene of a small jet that crashed into Percy Priest Lake around 11:00 a.m. FAA & NTSB en route.

Dive Teams determining extent of crash site, examining the debris field, & conducting search & rescue.

Boaters and private aircraft urged to stay clear of area. pic.twitter.com/T5DjH3ozBr

— Rutherford County Fire Rescue (@RCFireRescue) May 29, 2021

Authorities have conducted searches by boat and in shallow water, but had not yet started dive operations, Sanders said.

Investigators with the NTSB and FAA responded to the scene.

The Rutherford County Fire Department urged boaters and civilian drone aircraft to avoid the area during the investigation of the crash site.

ABC News’ Mina Kaji contributed to this report.

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