The body of one of the eight passengers who were aboard a small plane that crashed off the coast of North Carolina on Sunday afternoon has been found, the authorities said on Monday, adding that none of the remaining seven passengers are believed to have survived.
While the search continued on Monday evening for the other passengers, Asa B. Buck III, the Carteret County sheriff, said at a news conference, “We have no indication that anyone survived the crash.”
Officials have not publicly identified the people who were on the plane. Most of their families reside in Carteret County, Sheriff Buck said.
The Coast Guard found plane debris four miles east of Drum Inlet, N.C., and was focusing search efforts in that area, Edward Wargo, a spokesman for the Coast Guard, said on Monday, adding that the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office had recovered the body. At the news conference, Sheriff Buck declined to comment on where it had been found.
The single-engine Pilatus PC-12/47 crashed at about 2 p.m. on Sunday, falling into the water roughly 18 miles northeast of Michael J. Smith Field, a small coastal airport in Beaufort, N.C., according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The plane “was seen behaving erratically on radar and then disappeared from the radar screen,” the Coast Guard said.
The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation into what caused the crash.
Mr. Wargo said that the search for passengers and for the privately owned plane would continue through Monday night. Two aircraft, a large Coast Guard vessel and two boats were involved in the search.
The Coast Guard is being assisted by local agencies, including the Carteret County Marine Patrol, Capt. Matt Baer of the Coast Guard said at the news conference.