12-year-old girl, woman die in Florida plane crash

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12-year-old girl, woman die in Florida plane crash

The bodies of a 12-year-old girl and a woman have been found after a single-engine plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico – and the search continues for a third person.

Venice Police Chief Charlie Thorpe on Monday said the three family members on the rented Piper Cherokee flew from St. Petersburg to Venice for dinner on Saturday and were supposed to fly back, Fox 13 News reported.

Local authorities launched a search Sunday morning after the Federal Aviation Administration contacted Venice Municipal Airport about the overdue plane.

Recreational boaters found the body of a 43-year-old woman floating about 2.5 miles west of the Venice shore, city spokeswoman Lorraine Anderson said in a statement.

Divers from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office located the wreckage about 2 p.m. Sunday about a third of a mile offshore, Anderson said.

Rescuers at the scene of a plane crash in Florida
Florida authorities found the bodies of a 12-year-old girl and a 43-year-old woman after their small plane went down in the Gulf of Mexico. A third person is missing.
Venice Police Department
Piper Cherokee single-engine plane
The plane that went down was a Piper Cherokee like the one above.
Getty Images

The body of the girl was found in the passenger area. The third person, believed to be a man and possibly the pilot, remained missing, she added.

The names of the three people have not been released and the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Retired pilot Scott Harlow, who has flown planes like the Chrokee, told Fox 13 that flying at night requires the use of instruments.

“If it were nighttime there’s just more risk especially if the pilot wasn’t very experienced,” Harlow said. “I was going down the coast of New England and I did a 180 over the ocean and was like, ‘Whoa!’ It’s pitch black. You can’t see anything.”

Map of plane crash site
The plane crashed about 2.5 miles west of the Venice shore in Florida.
Venice Police Department
Divers at scene of Florida plane crash
The body of the girl was found in the passenger area of the aircraft.

The Venice police, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Coast Guard, the FAA and NTSB are all taking part in the investigation.

With Post wires

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