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Two dead after two-engine plane crashes, causes major fire in Manatee County

Two people are dead after two-engine plane crashed and caused a major fire in Manatee County on Saturday afternoon. (Jonathan Petramala, 10News WTSP)
Two people are dead after two-engine plane crashed and caused a major fire in Manatee County on Saturday afternoon. (Jonathan Petramala, 10News WTSP)
Published Mar. 5, 2017

DUETTE — At least two people are dead after a two-engine plane crash in Manatee County caused a major wildfire to break out Saturday afternoon.

The plane took off from Sarasota just before crashing near State Road 37 north of State Road 62, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. Emergency responders found two bodies in the wreckage after the plane landed in a wooded area.

A witness called 911 after seeing the crash around 1:30 p.m. Investigators said the plane appears to be a Beech aircraft. They did not release the identities of the two people found dead.

Witnesses told detectives they saw the plane flying at low altitude before it crashed and burst into flames. It is unclear what caused the plane to go down.

The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation.

Fire officials said the 10-acre fire was about 70 percent contained by 5 p.m. Saturday.

Times staff