There were no survivors found after a small, Long Island, N.Y.-bound plane crashed Sunday in a mountainous region of Virginia following a military jet pursuit, officials said.
Authorities made it to the crash site in Shenandoah Valley hours after the Cessna Citation went down around 3:30 p.m., according to police. It’s unclear how many people were on board.
The cause of the crash is still being investigated. The plane, which was traveling to MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma from Tennessee’s Elizabethton Municipal Airport, had made it to Long Island when it allegedly turned around and flew over Washington, D.C.
Officials say they authorized an F-16 to travel at supersonic speeds after the plane was unresponsive.
“During this event, the [North American Aerospace Defense Command] aircraft also used flares — which may have been visible to the public — in an attempt to draw attention from the pilot,” the agency said. “Flares are employed with highest regard for safety of the intercepted aircraft and people on the ground. Flares burn out quickly and completely and there is no danger to the people on the ground when dispensed.”
Residents in the greater Washington, D.C., area reported hearing a loud noise Sunday afternoon. The North American Aerospace Defense Command said the F-16 caused a sonic boom.
“There is no threat at this time,” D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management tweeted Sunday afternoon.
President Biden was playing golf Sunday at Maryland’s Joint Base Andrews, where the boom could be slightly heard. He has been briefed on the incident, according to a White House official.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
With News Wire Services