Smyrna, Tennessee (AFP) – A small plane carrying seven people crashed in Lake Tennessee on Saturday, and authorities indicated that no one on board survived.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the Cessna C501 crashed in Lake Percy Brest near Smyrna after taking off from a nearby airport around 11 am.
Rutherford County rescue chief Joshua Sanders told a news conference that Rutherford County rescuers were still on the scene late Saturday and were planning to operate overnight. He indicated that there were no survivors.
“Our efforts have shifted from rescue efforts to recovery efforts,” Sanders said. “We are no longer … looking for live victims at this stage.”
County officials identified the seven killed in a press release late Saturday. Brandon Hannah, Gwen S. Lara, William J. Lara, David L Martin, Jennifer J. Martin, Jessica Walters and Jonathan Walters, all of Brentwood, Tennessee, are considered dead. Their names were released after family members were notified.
Earlier on Saturday, officials confirmed that at least one person had been killed in the accident and that search crews had found a wreckage field and identified parts of the plane in the lake. Sanders said the accident appeared to have occurred entirely in the lake.
The authorities have also not released the registration information for the plane that was heading from Smyrna County Rutherford Airport to Palm Beach International Airport.
The Tennessee State Highway Patrol told news outlets that a witness had seen the plane sink in the water near an anchorage.
Both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration had investigators at 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 place for boating and fishing.