Missing Cessna 310 plane found in Indian River County

Fate of those aboard unknown

 INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Local officials said they are assisting federal authorities to reach the crash site of a plane in the Fort Drum Conservation Area in the western part of Indian River County.

Indian River County Fire Rescue officials said they were asked about 10:30 a.m. to assist law enforcement and the National Transportation Safety Board in creating a path to the crash site, located in a remote area of Fort Drum. Assistant Fire Chief Brian Burkeen said firefighters were still at the scene as of 1:30 p.m.

The Federal Aviation Administration did not have the number of people who were on board when the Cessna 310 aircraft took off.

FAA spokesperson Kathleen Bergen said a Miami control tower lost contact with the Cessna as it was flying about 15 miles west of Fort Pierce at about 4:35 p.m. Thursday. 

The FAA immediately issued an ALNOT, which is an Alert notice, to airports and authorities to begin searching for the aircraft.  

St. Lucie County rescue units searched for the plane Thursday, but had to suspend the search later in the evening because the "weather was too bad," according to St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Mark Weinberg.

The FAA could not say who was on board, where the plane departed from, or where it was headed.

Elliott Jones, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, contributed to this report.

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