At least 4 dead in crash of small plane in Georgia

CHATSWORTH, GEORGIA (THE NEW YORK TIMES) - At least four people are dead after a small plane crashed in north-western Georgia on Saturday (July 1) afternoon, the authorities said.

The plane, a Piper PA-23, went down at 4.44pm in Chatsworth, Georgia, about 17 miles (27km) south of the state's border with Tennessee, federal aviation officials said.

In a telephone interview late Saturday, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said that it did not appear that anyone on the ground had been injured and added that it was unknown whether any property had been damaged.

Early reports suggested the aircraft might have broken up in flight, the spokesman said, adding that the FAA would investigate.

An employee at the Murray County Sheriff's Office confirmed the fatalities to The New York Times but could not provide the identities of the victims. According to the employee, Sheriff Gary Langford had not clarified how many people were on the plane or whether investigators were searching for survivors.

The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter late Saturday that it was also investigating the crash.