Piper PA-23-250 Aztec plane crashes into Lake Okeechobee, 5 Dead

Five people have been confirmed dead in a plane crash in Palm Beach County.

The aircraft impacted the waters of Lake Okeechobee in Palm Beach County while on approach to Palm Beach County Glades Airport (KPHK), Pahokee, Florida. The airplane submerged, having sustained undetermined damage, and the five occupants onboard received fatal injuries.

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office confirmed in its Facebook post five dead bodies were pulled from a small plane that crashed in Lake Okeechobee just north of Pahokee Airport Friday.


PBCSO marine unit deputies and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue recovered the victim’s bodies from the crash.

In the post on social media, PBCSO said a person was seen swimming away from the crash but has not been found. Divers are searching the area.

Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office, said the medical examiner is at the scene.

The crash happened at about 3:30 p.m. when the twin-engine Piper PA-23-250 was on approach to Pahokee Airport, also known as Palm Beach County Glades Airport, the Herald said. The plane went down 400 yards from shore, just north of its destination.

The Sheriff’s Office worked with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue to locate the five people. They were found around 6 p.m., Barbera said.

The cause of the crash has not been determined. The National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating the incident while the Sheriff’s Office handles the death investigation.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an alert which triggered a search for the twin-engine Piper aircraft, said a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The plane had taken off from Tampa International Airport and went down as it approached the Pahokee airport, according to the FAA.

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