FAA begins investigation at Cherokee Co. airplane crash site

CHEROKEE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Tuesday morning, investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration began their investigation of a presumed fatal airplane crash in Cherokee County.

According to DPS, a restricted area has been set up in the area of Cheeseland Road in southern Cherokee County. Authorities said a twin-engine airplane crashed there around 10 p.m. Monday night.

FAA officials arrived at the site early Thursday and will return with other colleagues from Beaumont after sunrise. No one, including local law enforcement, is being allowed near the crash site at this time.

Law enforcement officials who first located the charred wreckage in field said there were no apparent survivors. DPS dispatchers could not determine how many people have died in the crash.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the aircraft is likely a Cessna 421, which can accommodate between six and eight passengers. The plane was flying from a west Houston airport to Tulsa-Riverside Airport in Oklahoma. Traffic control lost radio and radar contact with the pilot around 9:30 p.m. as the plane was maneuvering to avoid rough weather in the area.

The plane's tail number is not being released until investigators can confirm it is the aircraft that crash. "The FAA will be a part of a team led by the National Transportation Safety Board, which is in charge of all fatal aircraft accident investigations," Lunsford said. That team is expected to arrive at the scene sometime around 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Lunsford said he does not know how many people are on board.

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