Plane explodes into debris mid-flight killing three passengers

Plane explodes into debris mid-flight killing three passengers

The single-engine Beechcraft V35 crashed midday on Wednesday in Tennessee (Picture: WKRN)

Three people are dead after a small plane broke apart in the air over Tennessee and left debris for a half-mile stretch.

The single-engine Beechcraft V35 broke apart and crashed near Bending Chestnut Road and Davis Hollow Road around noon on Wednesday.

‘It does appear that the flight did break up in the air,’ said Williamson County Sheriff Mark Elrod.

Authorities searched a ‘rather large debris field’ that spanned more than a half mile, he said.

All three people on board died.

‘It was quickly evident that this would be a search-and-recovery operation, not a search-and-rescue operation,’ Elrod said.

Air traffic control audio revealed that the aircraft began descending around 9,000 feet and controllers said it could land 16 miles north.

Controllers indicated that the airplane started going south, and any communication from the pilot was unclear.

‘It sounds like contact lost,’ a person at the tower was heard saying, according to WTVF.

A resident made a 911 call at 12.05pm saying that an explosion possibly occurred and that he spotted debris.

‘We’ve had some calls of debris in yards and driveways,’ stated Elrod. ‘We don’t have structure damage.’

The plane was traveling from Louisville from Gonzales, Louisiana, Flight Aware shows.

On Thursday, one of the victims was identified as Dr Lucius Doucet III.

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