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Plane Crashes into Lake in Florida and Claims Five Lives

Rodolfo Vieira
Mar 11, 2019
06:17 A.M.
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A small plane headed to Pahokee crashed into a lake about 400 yards from the shore in southeastern Florida, taking the lives of five people in the process.

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On Friday, March 8, 2019, the twin-engine Piper aircraft departed from the Tampa International Airport and ended up falling into Lake Okeechobee at around 3:30 p.m.

It has been reported that the Federal Aviation Administration is working alongside the National Transportation Safety Board to understand what caused the crash.

A similar aircraft at the Tampa International Airport | Photo: WPTV News

A similar aircraft at the Tampa International Airport | Photo: WPTV News

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ALL FIVE VICTIMS IDENTIFIED

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, five bodies were recovered from the plane's fuselage by a team of professional divers.

The victims were later identified as Eric Peterson, 73, from Lighthouse Point, Matthew Fiorello, 36, from Palm Beach Gardens, Edwin Mortell III, 54, from Stuart, Eduardo Mulet, 45, from West Palm Beach and Heather Bridwell, 43, from Jupiter.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office vehicles at the site | Photo: WPTV News

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office vehicles at the site | Photo: WPTV News

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WHAT CAUSED THE CRASH

So far, the proper authorities don't know what led the little aircraft to crash into late Okeechobee, which is considered the largest freshwater lake in Florida, around 35 miles long.

The Federal Aviation Administration is working alongside the National Transportation Safety Board to understand what caused the crash

Palm Beach County Glades Airport, the destination of the crashed aircraft | Photo: WPTV News

Palm Beach County Glades Airport, the destination of the crashed aircraft | Photo: WPTV News

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ALMOST 200 DEAD IN JAKARTA

The plane crash took place just five months after the Jakarta tragedy, which claimed the lives of 189 people aboard a Boeing 737 Max, an aircraft owned by Lion Air.

The plane departed from the Indonesian capital and was supposed to arrive at Depati Amir Airport, in Pangkal Pinang, an hour later but just 13 minutes into the flight all contacts were lost.

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The flight data later recovered indicated that the aircraft made a sudden and sharp dive into the ocean and authorities found several human remains on site, around nine miles off the coast.

Indonesian emergency response teams searching the waters for survivors | Photo: TODAY

Indonesian emergency response teams searching the waters for survivors | Photo: TODAY

It has been reported that Edward Sirait, the chief executive of Lion Air, admitted engineers detected a "technical issue" the night before, but that the plane was operational at the time of the flight.

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