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4 dead in small plane crash near Miami airport

A small twin-engine plane heading for the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean crashed Wednesday near an airport in Miami, killing all four people on board, authorities in the U.S. state of Florida said. The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

The accident happened at around 2:40 p.m. local time when a Beech 1900 aircraft went down about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) west of Miami Executive Airport, which was until recently known as Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport and is about 13 miles (21 kilometers) southwest of downtown Miami.

"Responding Miami-Dade Police Department and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue units arrived on scene and discovered the aircraft completely engulfed in flames after crash landing," said Miami-Dade Police Department spokesman Detective Romelio Angel Martinez. "Miami-Dade Fire Rescue extinguished the flames and confirmed fatalities."

It is believed four people were killed in the crash, though their identities were not immediately known.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the aircraft, which is capable of carrying up to 20 people, had departed from Runway 27 Left at Miami Executive Airport and was heading towards Providenciales International Airport in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

"The pilot was attempting to return to the airport when the aircraft crashed. The aircraft was not registered in the United States," Bergen said, without elaborating as to why the pilot was attempting to return. Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate the cause of the accident.

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