A small plane crashed along Interstate 55 in Lincoln, Illinois, on Tuesday, leaving at least three people dead, officials confirmed.
Illinois State Police said the plane crashed at around 8:49 a.m. local time and caught on fire after smashing into the middle of I-55, WGN9 in Chicago reported.
The Logan County Coroner’s Office also arrived on the scene, confirming the three occupants of the plane died. Coroner Robert Thomas said he will identify the victims after their next-of-kin are notified, according to the station.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also confirmed it will respond and investigate the crash, said officials. Other agencies are also responding to the scene.
Southbound I-55 is shut down at Exit 126 at IL-10 in Lincoln due to a plane crash. First responders are on the scene. Avoid the area. #ILtraffic
— IDOT District 6 (@IDOTDistrict6) March 3, 2020
The FAA told the Chicago Sun-Times that the plane was identified as a single-engine Cessna 172, which was destroyed upon impact. The National Transportation Safety Board is leading an investigation.
In a statement, the Illinois State Police wrote that southbound lanes on I-55 will be closed down for several hours. “I-55 southbound lanes at milepost 126 are shut down near Lincoln, IL. Northbound lanes are still open. A small plane has crashed. IDOT is on scene and will be working on a detour,” police said.
It’s not clear where the plane was coming from or where it was heading.
Video footage and photos captured at the scene show burning wreckage on the highway.
Lincoln is located about 165 miles south of Chicago and about 34 miles north of Springfield.