Small plane crashes after pilot reports 5 dead, engine cut

The pilot reported that the aircraft had lost all engine power.

Five people, including three children, were killed when a single-engine plane crashed on a Nashville, Tennessee highway Monday night after the pilot reported a total loss of engine power, according to a National Transportation Safety Board official.

The plane was en route to Nashville from Mount Sterling, Kentucky, when it crashed about 3 miles from Nashville's John Tune Airport, NTSB air safety inspector Aaron McCarter said at a news conference Tuesday.

McCarter said the flight came from Ontario, Canada, before making stops in Erie, Pennsylvania and Mount Sterling. All passengers on board the flight were Canadian citizens and the NTSB is working with the Canadian government to identify the passengers who died.

During the flight, there were no reports of any mechanical irregularities or anomalies. However, as it approached John Tune Airport, the plane climbed 2,500 feet before reporting a catastrophic, complete loss of engine power, according to McCarter.

The control tower at John Tune Airport received word about 7:40 p.m. that the plane was experiencing engine and power failure, and the pilot requested permission to land, which was granted, Metropolitan Nashville Police Public Affairs Director Dan Aaron said. Dept.

Air traffic control, which was in contact with the pilot, declared an emergency on behalf of the pilot and assisted him in landing at the airport. The plane then made a U-turn and crashed into the roadway on Interstate 40 east between mile markers 201 and 202, McCarter said.

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After the crash, it crashed, came to rest on a hill and caught fire, killing all its passengers, McCarter said.

The pilot contacted the tower and told them the plane was not going to make it before the crash, according to police.

The wreckage of the plane is now being transported to a facility in Springfield, Tennessee, where an investigation will continue to determine the cause of the engine failure.

Witnesses told police the plane crashed as it entered the interstate, Aaron said. The plane crashed behind a Costco just off the eastbound lanes of I-40.

A spokesperson for the Nashville Fire Department said the plane exploded on impact. “The impact was devastating and there were no survivors,” the representative said.

When the fire department arrived at the scene, they encountered heavy flames, but they were able to put it out and save the evidence from the scene.

ABC News' Matt Foster and Darren Reynolds contributed to this report.

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