NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A small airplane approaching a runway in heavy fog crashed into an adjacent botanical garden, killing three people inside the plane early Wednesday.
Lt. Curtis Hardison of the Virginia State Police says the plane lost communication with Norfolk International Airport about 4:30 a.m. The wreckage was discovered about three hours later inside a wooded section of Norfolk Botanical Garden called the Enchanted Forest.
Overhead video of the wreckage from WAVY-TV showed that the plane was largely intact but upside-down.
Police blocked the entrance to the garden, which is immediately next door to the airport.
Neighbors say they didn’t see or hear the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration says preliminary information indicates that the plane took off from Palatka, Florida, and was originally heading to Suffolk, near Norfolk in southeastern Virginia. The flight-tracking website FlightAware shows that the pilot changed course toward the Norfolk airport.