Several people were killed when their twin-engine plane crashed during takeoff Sunday morning at a small airport about 40 miles east of Tampa.
The plane was taking off just after 7 a.m. from Bartow Municipal Airport in a dense fog when it crashed and caught fire, said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
There were no survivors and “no chance of survival,” he said.
“It is a tragedy any day of the week. It is a worse tragedy on Christmas Eve,” Judd said.
The number of fatalities or identities of the dead have not yet been released, but Judd said he knew at least one of the victims on the plane personally.
After reviewing video of the crash, Judd said no one should have been taking off in that weather.
The NTSB and FAA will investigate the cause of the crash, he said. Polk County Fire Rescue is also on the scene.