4 dead, others missing in unrelated crashes of 3 Mexican-registered small planes

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Three small planes flying in or headed to Mexico have crashed in two days, leaving at least four dead.

A Mexican-registered Cessna 150 crashed Tuesday afternoon shortly after takeoff from Mina International Airport in the Gulf coast city of Tampico in northeastern Tamaulipas state. The pilot and passenger were killed, authorities said.

Later in the day, a Learjet that left the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for Cozumel, Mexico, plunged into the Atlantic with four people aboard, a U.S. official said.

The Learjet 35, with a Mexican registration, went down about three miles (4.8 kilometers) northeast of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and ended up in waters about a mile (1.6 kilometers) offshore, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said in an email.

The Coast Guard said in a news release that it had dispatched search-and-rescue crews aboard two vessels, along with a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami. There was no immediate word from the FAA or Coast Guard on the fate of those aboard.

On Monday, the pilot and a passenger were killed in the crash of a small plane in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz. The Civil Aviation Office said the Mexican-registered plane took off from the northern state of Nuevo Leon and crashed in the mountains of Veracruz, just short of its intended destination, the Veracruz state capital of Xalapa.