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UPDATE: Three killed in Oconee County airplane crash

By Joe Johnson

Three people were killed late Tuesday afternoon when an airplane crashed in a wooded area of Oconee County.

The crash was reported at about 4:30 p.m. by a witness who saw a single-engine plane go down in a wooded area south of Herman C. Michael Park in the 1400 block of Elder Road, Oconee County sheriff’s Capt. James Hale said in press conference at the park.

First responders, including deputies and members of Oconee County Fire Rescue located the plane’s fuselage, which was fully engulfed in flames, according to Hale.

Even so, he said that rescue attempts were made but no survivors were found.

No one on the ground was injured by the crash.

The FOX 5 Atlanta TV station reported that "FAA Air Traffic Controllers told FOX 5 that they lost contact with a Piper PA-46 at about 4:35 p.m., as it was flying over the county en route from South Carolina to Alabama."

Stock image of a Piper PA-46

Hale said that the remains of those killed in the crash were to be taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s State Crime Lab for positive identifications.

A perimeter was formed around the crash debris field to preserve the wreckage so that investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration could begin the work of trying to determine what caused the crash.

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