Plane Crashes Into Sea Off Venezuela Islands

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A plane carrying 14 people crashed into the sea off Venezuela Friday with eight Italians and an American on board. There was no immediate report on casualties.

Search teams were fanning out by air and sea to find the downed twin-engine plane, which left Simon Bolivar International Airport near Caracas and hit the sea about 24 miles from Los Roques islands, said Gen. Antonio Rivero, Venezuela's emergency management director.

Italy's foreign ministry said eight Italians were on board. Rivero's agency said the others included one American and five Venezuelans.

The U.S. Embassy said it had no immediate information about an American citizen on the plane.

The Los Roques islands are a popular tourism destination, with a national park and world-class scuba diving off white sand beaches.

The plane belonged to the company Transaven, a small Venezuelan airline that regularly flies to Los Roques, authorities said.