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No survivors in small plane crash near Marineland, rescuers say

15 July 2017

The Piper PA44 aircraft that is believed to have had a student and a teacher on board crashed near the border of St. Johns County and Flagler County, Fla., FAA officials said.

An airplane crashed early Friday near Marineland in Flagler County, and authorities continue to search for survivors. A witness reports that they saw the plane flying low and heard the engine sputter. Rescuers searching the marshes are treating treating the search as a rescue operation, presuming the pilot and any passengers are still alive, and have found some debris that they believe comes from the missing plane, Strobridge said. The FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash as well.

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Strobridge said authorities know that the plane last took off from Brunswick, Georgia, and was likely returning to Ormond Beach when it went down.

The plane's wreckage was found shortly after noon, deputies said.

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At an afternoon news conference, Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said he had been to the wreck site and it appears that the aircraft clipped a tree and flipped over. "The problem is that the tide is out, so (the water) is very hard to get into, which is why we are having to use airboats". Crews are searching Pellicer Creek Aquatic Reserve for the bodies. Preliminary information from the FAA suggests two people were aboard the aircraft.

Local agencies such as St. Johns County Fire Rescue, Florida FIsh and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Flagler County Sheriff's Office also participated in the search.

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No survivors in small plane crash near Marineland, rescuers say