A child has died and a woman’s body has been found after the wreckage of a small airplane was found in the Gulf of Mexico, officials confirmed Sunday. The crew were still searching for the pilot.
Sunday afternoon, the wreckage of a rented single-engine Piper Cherokee was found about one-third of a mile west of Venice Municipal Airport, Venice City, Florida. Twitter,
“Just after 2 p.m., the missing Piper Cherokee was located. Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office divers located a deceased juvenile inside the passenger area of the aircraft,” the city said.
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the plane with three people on board took off from Venice Municipal Airport at around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Officials said the investigation into the missing plane began around 10 a.m. ET Sunday, when the FAA asked the Venice Police Department to investigate from Venice Municipal Airport because the plane was overdue.
Around the same time, the city of Venice said, recreational boaters found the body of a woman floating 2.5 miles west of Venice Beach. Authorities have not confirmed whether she was one of the female passengers.
Authorities believe a male pilot or passenger was also on board, but that person has not been found.
The City of Venice said, “At this time, search efforts are ongoing for a possible missing male resident. The search effort will continue until sunset and will resume as conditions permit.”
The accident will be investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board, with the NTSB leading the investigation and providing additional updates, the FAA said in a statement.