Coast Guard

3 Dead After Small Plane Crashes in Norfolk Botanical Garden

Three people were killed after a small airplane approaching Norfolk International Airport crashed into a neighboring botanical garden, a Virginia State Police spokeswoman confirms.

The plane was one or two miles away from the airport when the tower lost contact around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

It was found in the Enchanted Forest section of the botanical garden at 7:20 a.m., Sgt. Michelle Anaya with Virginia State Police said. Overhead video of the wreckage from WAVY-TV showed that the plane was largely intact but upside-down.

The Norfolk Botanical Garden is located next to the airport.

Virginia State Police and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were called to the scene of the crash.

The FAA said preliminary information indicates that the plane took off from Palatka, Florida, and was originally heading to Suffolk, near Norfolk in southeastern Virginia. The flight-tracking website FlightAware shows that the pilot changed course toward the Norfolk airport.

Earlier reports indicated that four people were on board the Mooney 20, which is a Cessna-sized plane. There's no word on whether a fourth victim was found.

No further information is being released at this time.

Neighbors say they didn't see or hear the crash.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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