3 killed when small plane crashes in western North Carolina mountains, officials say
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3 killed when small plane crashes in western North Carolina mountains, officials say

MARION, North Carolina — MARION, N.C. (AP) — Three people died when a small plane crashed in western North Carolina, authorities said Monday.

McDowell County Emergency Management said in a statement that emergency personnel responding to a report of a missing small plane found the downed plane near the Rutherford County line. The area is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Asheville. McDowell County officials later confirmed three deaths in the downed plane.

Three people were aboard the single-engine Cessna 182 when it crashed into the mountains near Rutherfordton, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The National Transportation Safety Board will be in charge of the investigation and will provide further information, according to the FAA, which is also investigating.

The NTSB said in a statement that preliminary information indicates the plane, which took off from Mountain City, Tennessee, and was headed to Rutherford County Airport, crashed Sunday and its wreckage was found Monday.

An NTSB investigator went to the scene to document and examine the wreckage, officials said. The agency is expected to issue a preliminary report within 30 days on the initial phase of the investigation, although a final report with probable cause and any contributing factors is expected to take one to two years.

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3 killed when small plane crashes in western North Carolina mountains, officials say

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