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Sunday April 18th, 2021 5:25AM

Three people die in plane crash near Gainesville airport

By AccessWDUN staff

Three people were killed Friday night when the single-engine plane they were on crashed moments after taking off from Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville.

One home on the ground was damaged by fuel, and five residents were displaced. No one on the ground was injured.

The plane had just taken off from the Gainesville airport en route to Daytona Beach, Florida, around 6 p.m. when it crashed near the intersection of Memorial Park Drive at Atlanta Highway, according to a statement from Division Chief Zach Bracket with Hall County Fire Services. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the names on the plane's flight plan matched the bodies at the scene, Brackett said. Officials have not publicly named the victims because families haven't been notified.

The plane, which was not immediately identified, crashed into a ravine just north of Memorial Park, with damage noticed starting in the Titshaw Drive area, Brackett said.

The bodies were taken to the Hall County Coroner's Office. The Hall County Sheriff's Office will handle the death investigation.

The home on the ground was damaged by falling fuel. The American Red Cross is helping four adults and one child find temporary housing. 

Officials remain on the scene and are urging motorists to avoid the area and find alternate routes.

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