7 people are presumed dead after a small plane crashed into a lake near Nashville – CNN
The victims were identified in a press release issued Saturday night by the Rutherford County Government as William J. Lara, Gwen S. Lara, Jennifer J. Martin, David L. Martin, Jessica Walters, Jonathan Walters, and Brandon Hannah.
The plane crashed shortly after taking off from the Smyrna airport around 11 a.m. (noon ET) headed for Palm Beach International Airport, Rutherford County Public Information Officer Ashley McDonald said at a briefing.
The Cessna C501 crashed in Percy Priest Lake in Smyrna, Tennessee, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Salac told CNN in a statement.
Smyrna is about 12 miles south of Nashville.
Operations at the crash site have transitioned from search and rescue to recovery efforts, Incident Commander Rutherford County Fire Rescue Capt. Joshua Sanders said at a press briefing Saturday night.
“We are no longer in an attempt to looking for live victims at this point so we’re now recovering as much as we can from the crash site,” Sanders said during the third and final briefing of the day.
Crews will remain on scene throughout the night, he said.
Dive operations have been conducted and several targets have been identified for dive operations to resume in the morning, according to Sanders.
McDonald said seven people were aboard the plane when it crashed and at least one person has been confirmed dead.
“I think the situation itself is probably the most difficult part, dealing with the potential impact that this has on family and the community at large,” Sanders said. “Our crews are working very hard, very diligently, all the agencies are working really well together.”
Both the FAA and the NTSB are on scene investigating the crash, according to Sanders.