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Small plane crash kills five after pilot reported loss of engine power

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(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Five people, including three children, died when a single-engine plane crashed into a Nashville, Tennessee, highway after the pilot reported a total loss of engine power on Monday night, 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, Aaron McCarter, an NTSB air safety investigator, said at a press conference Tuesday.

The flight had originated from Ontario, Canada, before it made stops in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Mount Sterling, McCarter said. All passengers on board were Canadian nationals and the NTSB is working with the Canadian government to identify the deceased passengers.

During the flight, there were no reports of any mechanical irregularities or anomalies. However, upon approaching John Tune Airport, the plane ascended and passed overhead at 2,500 feet before reporting a catastrophic, complete loss of engine power, according to McCarter.

The control tower at John Tune Airport received the message about the plane experiencing engine and power failure at around 7:40 p.m., with the pilot requesting permission to land, which was granted, according to Don Aaron, public affairs director for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.

Air traffic control, which was in communication with the pilot, declared an emergency on behalf of the pilot and offered assistance in landing at the airport. The plane then made a U-turn and crashed into the road on Interstate 40 East, between mile marker 201 and 202, McCarter said.

After the crash, it then tumbled, stopped on a hill and burst into flames, killing all the passengers on board, McCarter said.

The pilot contacted the tower and said the aircraft was not going to make it before the crash, according to police.

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

Witnesses told police the plane was in distress as it came over the interstate, Aaron said. The plane crashed behind a Costco just off the eastbound lanes of I-40, he said.

A spokesperson for the Nashville Fire Department said the plane imploded on impact. The “impact was catastrophic and did not leave any survivors,” the representative said.

The fire department was met with heavy flames as they reached the scene, but they were able to extinguish it and preserve evidence from the scene.

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

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