The Cessna C501 crashed shortly after taking off from the Smyrna airport, 12 miles south of Nashville, according to Rutherford County Public Information Officer Ashley McDonald.
There were seven people on board, Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Arlene Salac said.
Officials do not know who was on board the aircraft, McDonald said at a news briefing Saturday afternoon. They are not disclosing who the jet was registered to, she said.
Names will not be released until the next of kin are notified, McDonald said.
“We acknowledge that there are several rumors that are circulating regarding the number of victims and the identification of those victims,” McDonald said. “None of this information has been officially released from anyone associated with the investigation,” she said.
The plane was headed to Palm Beach, Florida, according to McDonald.
Search and rescue operations were expected to continue through the night, Capt. Joshua Sanders of Rutherford County Fire Rescue said.
“I think the situation itself is probably the most difficult part, dealing with the potential impact that this has on family and the community at large,” Sanders said. “Our crews are working very hard, very diligently, all the agencies are working really well together.”
Sanders said his department was dispatched just before 11 a.m. for a report of a plane crash in Percy Priest Lake.
Responders found a debris field, oil slick and components of an aircraft when they arrived on scene.
The plane crashed near the Fate Sanders Boat Ramp, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lt. Bill Miller told CNN in an email.
The boat ramp is about 30 miles southeast of Nashville.
The sheriff’s office and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) are leading the investigation, according to Miller.
Several troopers were at the scene and assisting in the investigation, Miller said.
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