Small plane disappears from radar off the coast of South Carolina

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A small plane that took off from an airport in South Carolina has disappeared from radar over the Atlantic Ocean, federal officials say. A search and rescue operation is underway.

The Piper PA-31 aircraft took off from Robert F. Swinnie Airport in Andrews, South Carolina, at 10:47 a.m. ET on Thursday. It was flying over the Atlantic when it disappeared from radar less than an hour later.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it was notified of an in-flight emergency before contact was lost, about 110 miles (177 kilometers) east of Charleston. It said the aircraft is believed to have crashed into the ocean.

It’s unknown how many people were on board the plane, but a Piper PA-31 aircraft is capable of carrying up to 9 people. It was scheduled to fly to Governor’s Harbour Airport in the Bahamas.

Federal records show that the plane is registered to a company based in Delaware.

A search and rescue operation was underway on Thursday evening. The U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement that multiple aircraft and vessels are involved in the search.

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