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East Hampton, N.Y. – A small plane carrying four people crashed off the coast of New York’s Long Island on Saturday, officials said.

Two bodies had been recovered from the crash scene about a mile and a half (2.4 kilometers) south of East Hampton as of late Saturday evening. The victims were not immediately identified.

“We are stricken by this loss,” said Capt. Kevin B. Reed of the Coast Guard. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of the two recovered individuals.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Piper PA31 aircraft went down around 3 p.m. Severe thunderstorms were moving through the area at the time.

The Coast Guard and local police were assisted by crews from commercial fishing boats in searching for the victims.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.

East Hampton, where the plane crashed, and the nearby towns on eastern Long Island are known for the many wealthy and prominent individuals who spend their summers there, including stars such as Alec Baldwin and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Small planes and helicopters are popular travel options for people with the means to avoid the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Long Island Expressway.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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