SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — A small plane crashed shortly after takeoff Monday from a resort area on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, killing all seven people on board, officials said.
The pilot of the single-engine Piper PA-32 had taken off from Punta Cana and was apparently attempting to make an emergency landing on a golf course when it crashed into a tree and burst into flames, said Enmanuel Souffront, director of the country's Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau.
The plane, operated by Sky High Aviation Services, was en route to the Samana Peninsula off the north coast with a pilot and six passengers, Civil Aviation Institute spokesman Hector Olivo said.
The names of those on board were not released. Local police said earlier that four of the passengers were tourists from Spain and two were from Britain, but Olivo said later that authorities were still trying to determine their nationalities and confirm their identities.
The pilot was from the Dominican Republic.
Civil aviation officials were dispatched to the scene to investigate the cause of the crash.