October 26, 2018 / 12:26 AM / 23 days ago

U.S. Coast Guard searches through night for downed plane

(Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard searched through the night for a civilian aircraft that went down in the Atlantic off the coast of South Carolina on Thursday en route to the Bahamas, the agency said.

The Piper PA-31 aircraft went off the radar at about 11.30 a.m. EDT about 110 miles (177 km) east of Charleston after reporting an emergency to air traffic controllers, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

“@USCG Cutter Hamilton crew will continue to search throughout the night,” it said on social network Twitter. “Air assets will conduct a first-light search.”

The twin-engine aircraft departed from Robert F. Swinnie Airport in Georgetown County, South Carolina, Fox affiliate WHNS-TV said.

There was no word of how many were on board the plane, which is designed for up to eight passengers with two crew.

Reporting by Andrew Hay in New Mexico; Editing by Peter Cooney and Clarence Fernandez

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