Small plane with three passengers on board goes missing in US state of Washington

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Rescue workers in Washington state said they would continue searching Monday for a small plane carrying three people that disappeared after take-off from neighbouring Montana.

The red-and-white private Beech 35 aircraft went missing after departure on Saturday at 4pm local time, and family members informed the authorities when the plane never arrived, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

"The last cellphone signal from one of the plane's occupants was detected at about 11.30pm," the agency said in a statement.

A search on Sunday turned up no signs of the aircraft, and rescue workers will continue the hunt after daybreak on Monday.

"Air crews searched the area listening for emergency locator beacon signals as well as conducting visual searches," WSDOT said.

It added that crews would "continue working through the night on planning and logistics".

The agency identified the three passengers as Mr Leland Bowman, 62, his wife Sharon Bowman, 63, and their step-granddaughter Autumn Veatch, 16.